Anecdota

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Science Comedy Sprengkugel


Hi. Welcome to Science Comedy. You might be wondering what Magic Andy is doing out here by the lake. He and his team took off to find a spectacular place to show you a spectacular experiment. This one about the power and anomalies of water. That’s right, water can be stronger than steel And in the next few minutes, you’ll see why. Why does the steel ball explode? What is so special about water? Why does a lake freeze from the top down? When water cools, its molecules contract and use less space. The tighter they get, the smaller the volume. Most liquids continue to contract until they eventually freeze. That’s normal. Water, however, is special. Its molecules contract only to a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius. At that point water has reached its maximum density, even though the freezing point has not been reached. At the temperatures between 4 and 0 degrees, you witness one of the anomalies of water At just under 4 degrees the water molecules rearrange into a net-like structure. At zero degrees the molecules expand and arrange themselves into ice crystals. As a result the molecules have more space. The density decreases, and the volume increases. Inside the steel ball, the water freezes to ice. To speed up the process we use liquid nitrogen, minus 196 degrees C. Because water expands when frozen, and ice needs more space, the volume increases and enormous pressure begins to build. Eventually the pressure becomes so great that the steel ball explodes. In summer, the water temperature of a lake is higher on the surface. In winter the opposite is true, one of the density anomalies of water. At 4 degrees the lake water has its greatest density, and its highest weight per volume. The water on the surface continues to cool below 4 degrees, and layers between 4 and 0 degrees begin to form. Water with 4 degrees on the bottom, then 3 degrees, 2, 1, and eventually frozen water with zero degrees on top. Ice has the lightest weight per volume. This is the reason why a lake freezes from top to bottom. Because of this fish and plants can survive in a frozen lake.

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