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Q & A: melting a cordial

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Most recent answer: 03/17/2013
Q:
conducting an experiment on time taken for melting of 3 differant frozen liquids. Had 15ml each of tap water, milk and cordial. As expected the milk melted first, but then it was the water before the cordial. Could this mean that our tap water has many impurities, or what could be the possible explanation.Thx
- alison dunning (age 49)
australia
A:
Here's a possible explanation. The alcohol in the cordial was very unlikely to freeze if you used a home freezer. That means that there was always some liquid left. If you then just pulled the ice out and tried melting it, that liquid would have contained most of the sugar etc. as well as the alcohol. So the ice part would be fairly clean.

For the milk, on the other hand, there wouldn't have been much of any liquid left to hold the solvents, mostly salts and sugars. They would have been left in little crevices in the ice, ready to help start its melting.

There's probably nothing unusual about the tap water.

This guess wouldn't make sense if you in fact left the frozen cordial in its own liquid. If so, follow up and maybe we can come up with a different idea.

Mike W.


(published on 03/17/2013)

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