Originally posted by Acolyte
How hard is it to get this to work? Do you need laboratory conditions? I want to get my hands on some supercooled water. You could flick a tiny speck of dust in and watch an big ice crystal grow extremely rapidly around it.
Select a small, clean drinking water bottle. Drill its cap so as to allow
insertion of a thermometer. Seal the thermometer at the cap with a
suitable sealant -- silicone, perhaps. Fill the bottle with distilled
water. Screw on the cap and allow the water to stand undisturbed for a
day. Without shaking the bottle, place it on a freezer so you can see the
freezing zone of the thermometer. Allow the bottle to stand in the freezer
for several hours. Check it from time to time -- do not move the bottle or
agitate it in any way.
If all goes well, the water will cool to below its freezing point (32 F, 0
C) as evidenced by the thermometer reading of (perhaps) -2 C. The water
inside the bottle has supercooled.
Remove the bottle from the freezer, shake it gently for no more than one
second, and sit it on the lab bench. The water will suddenly start to
You will note that the temperature will rise as the water freezes. Extra
credit: How can this be? Why does the temperature rise while the water is