(Disclaimer - not MY mother-in-law, mind you)AYE. I'd forgotten to put out the garbage the night before, when it would've made more sense at a sweltering 6 degrees, so I steeled myself against the cold and set to it. The cold burned my skin through the layers and I knew I'd quickly perish, a piscesgrrl popsicle, if I didn't get the recyclables poured faster. I worked so fast I was busier than a mosquito in a nudist colony.
Temperatures like this are fit for neither man nor beast, so Jonathan, the dog, the cat and I nestled in for a day of hibernation. On days like this, when even a woodburner stuffed to the gills doesn't cut it, I walk around in 3 layers with a scarf and a blanket wrapped toga-style.
"Ten more seconds and I'd have frozen to death," I told Jonathan. "I bet water would freeze in no time out there."
Hmmm.... water, below-zero temps, a myth that needs busting...
"Hey Jonathan, it's said that hot water freezes faster than cold water. Wanna find out?"
((shoulder shrug)) "Sure."
And thus began our quest to disprove the theory that hot water freezes faster than cold.
Jonathan filled a jar with hot water.
And set it outside the back door.
Then he filled a jar with cold water.
And set that outside the back door too.
Then he set his stopwatch.
And we watched, checking on the water every 5 minutes or so. Until we realized it was going to take longer than we expected.
We found a candy thermometer in the land-of-no-return that is my junk drawer (no small feat, as you can see), and measured the water temps as they steadily fell.
Dum de dum.... Time for lunch.
Jonathan indulged in leftover carry-out pizza and a take-2 grilled cheese. I burned the first one, because I
Then Jonathan recalled a story he heard in his museum class on Wednesday. His teacher had left a water bottle out overnight but it was tightly sealed so the water couldn't freeze. The next morning he unscrewed the top and when the air hit the water, it froze immediately, right before his eyes. "Let's try that too!" Jonathan exclaimed, and
Then we decided to try a reclosable plastic container. (Is reclosable a word? Hang on - Yep!)
What if we use a big container?
Then we decided to play off the dynamics used in food preservation. During the canning process, air is driven from the jar and a vacuum is formed as the jar cools and seals the lids on tighter than a camel's backside in a sandstorm.
Here, Jonathan waits for the canning jar to seal by surfing the internet for tips on how to complete a diving catch on his Madden 06 GameCube game. His research paid off as he completed his first-ever diving catch not 10 minutes later. Then he completed about 6 more. I should know, I got to watch the replays about six dozen times. Maybe seven dozen.
The results? After 55 minutes, the colder water had a layer of ice on top, and the warmer water didn't. At 1 hr, 17 minutes they both had layers of ice. At 1 hr, 42 minutes, the warm water jar had more ice. At 3 hours, both jars were frozen. As for the myth? Hot water does freeze faster than cold, yo!
This was a fun experiment! More fun than arguing religion with a fundamentalist!
I'll stop now. Really.