Originally posted by yelrambob
last night i mistakenly left a bottle of water in my car. when i got in my car this morning after a well below freezing night the bottle was not frozen at all the water was still liquid (though the air in the bottle shrank like a balloon in the freezer). i didnt think much of it until i started driving and i turned on the heat. about five minutes later i w ...[text shortened]... a drink from the bottle and noticed the water was almost completely frozen. why di this happen?
It's possible, though unlikely, that the sudden expansion of the moist air in the bottle caused enough of a temperature drop to freeze the water. Of course, this is only plausible with a rapid expansion and a small amount of water.
Another unlikely answer could be that if the water were very pure, it could theoretically become supercooled (i.e. the water could be colder than the freezing temperature, but remain in a liquid state because of a lack of nucleation sites for crystallization). Any jostling, like an expansion of the bottle, would jostle the liquid creating bubbles and nucleation sites, turning the whole aliquot to ice. Of course, supercooling is difficult to achieve and it would be an extraordinary coincidence if this happened to more than one person you know.
The most likely answer was that the water was well on its way to freezing, and because you were driving you didn't notice the freezing process, only the final change.
Other than those, I'm stumped. 😕