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A sword made out of ice

  1. Jan 29, 2004 #1
    snow can be compressed into ice. what is the limit to how solid ice can be? could it be made dence enough to be used as a workable sword?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2004 #2


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    Ice has a density slightly less than water. You probably could make a sword, but it would be quite brittle.
  4. Jan 29, 2004 #3
    at very very high pressure you could make it more dense than water, its also possible if you freeze it very quickly, with say liquid nitrogen, this cause it to solidify much faster and not form normal ice crystals.
  5. Jan 29, 2004 #4
    how about liquid helium to freeze it?

    where can i read about if its frozen fast its differnt to freezing slowly?

    am i wrong in thinking high pressure makes heat in the pressureized object?
  6. Jan 29, 2004 #5
    Liquid helium should have the same effect as liquid nitrogen (they'd be within a few degrees kelvin of each other). Try searching for super freezing or something like that. I've only heard of it second hand, but what i heard is that it is sometimes used as an instant freeze technique for vegetbales, to prevent the destruction of the cell structure (and thus taste) when freezing them. But again this is only second hand that i heard it, so i can't confirm its validity.

    Also while that is true in gases at constant volume, if i remember from chemistry correctly the temperature change inliquids and solids is far below negligible, not enough to actually be of any significance beyond theory.

    edit: i jsut found a site with some notes on supercooling vegetables, the key point being that it prevents the formation of ice crystals: http://www.msu.edu/course/fsc/229/Notes/Lecture 24.htm
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2004
  7. Jan 30, 2004 #6
    Liquid nitrogen boils at 77K, is pretty cheap and can be found relativly easily. Your local doctor may have some/know where to get some, as it is used for freezing off warts etc. You will need a container, and polystyrene works well for this. Try and avoid being in an unventalated area with it (eg a lift) as you will suffocate as the nitrogen displaces the oxygen in the air.

    Liquid helium, on the other hand, is very expensive (since it only makes up 0.0005% of the atmosphere, compared with nitrogen which makes up 78%, and boils at around 3.7K). It also need considerably less energy than nitrogen to evaporate, which makes storage a problem. You won't be able to use liquid helium unless you can get access to ascience department of some sort and a trained lab-worker.

    Anyway, what do you want an ice sword for? Is it so you can stab someone and "watch the evidance melt" like in that MOP song?
  8. Jan 30, 2004 #7
    Actually the effects of being stabeed by a weapon that is 77 K would be somewhat interesting, rather than cauterizing as a hot blade would the ice blade would cause instant frezzing of the nearest area of the body, with the cold spreading quit rapidly, untill the entire body is uniformly frozen and then begins to thaw. Scary thought.

    However making a sword this wake would be rather useless if only because the ice would be very heavy. If you tried to make the blade thinner it would probably be too brittle to be effective.
  9. Jan 30, 2004 #8


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    According to some astronomers trying to model the interior of Neptune, water can be made into a metal, given enough pressure.
  10. Jan 30, 2004 #9
    Hmmm. A sword? What is it you're up to? Wasn't there a murder mystery about killing someone with an ice weapon so that the murder weapon simply melts away?
  11. Jan 30, 2004 #10
    if i wanted to kill some one with ice i'd just use an ice block as a mace weapon, or a giant iceical.

    water as a metal huh.... would it still be transparent? im guessing no.

    but an ice sword would be cool to have*

    *haha gara made a funny!
  12. Jan 30, 2004 #11
    Yes, an ice sword would have to be cool.*

    *haha zooby funnied a maid
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