Saturday, September 18, 2010

Supercooling Water

This morning I decided to try out a simple experiment I had seen online: supercooling water. What is "supercooled" water? According to Wikipedia, "Supercooling, also known as undercooling, is the process of lowering the temperature of a liquid or a gas below its freezing point, without it becoming a solid." (

Upon aggitation, the water will instantly freeze, as you can see in the video below:

So how do you do this experiment at home? Very simply! You need some very pure water. I read that Fiji water works well, or also distilled water. I used Fiji water.

1. To start, find a flat surface in your freezer and leave the water in there. I left it overnight to make sure everything got nice and cold.

2. Once the water is below freezing, carefully remove it from the freezer (One way to gauge that it's cold enough is to leave another bottle of tap water next to it. Once that's nice and frozen, you know it's cold enough).

3. Agitate the water and it will freeze! As you can see in my video, I attempted to shake the bottle, although that didn't quite do it. After I picked it up to shake it, I ended up putting some force into setting it back down, which did it.

You will find that the water doesn't freeze into a solid block, but rather it's more of a hard slush. But it's a simple experiment, and pretty cool to do!

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