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How to prevent ice from forming?

  1. Jul 22, 2009 #1
    Hi, and thanks a million time for reading me!

    I have to imagine an experiment:
    An Ice cube (a supposed sentient, living Ice cube) can reform itself by gathering the moisture in the air to increase his size or remain as it is when the temperature makes it melts.

    -Now I have to prevent the ice cube from increasing his size, and destroy it.
    -If I make it melts, it can reform itself
    -If I transform it into gas, it can come back to its original state...
    -To destroy it, I think I have to prevent it from returning to any state water can assume

    How can I prevent all these ? For the experiment, we imagine that I have all that nature as to offer in term of atmospheric phenomenon. I can increase or decrease the pressure, remove or increase the temperature in the area, use lightning, plasma or any form of those energies, I can increase or decrease air temperature... Everything you can imagine related to atmospheric patterns! I just can think of more… Ionize the air… Absolutely anything

    I was thinking about removing the moisture in the area to prevent him from creating more ice, use lighning to make the ice cube explode, then work with the pressure to prevent him to back to it's initial state, use heat generation and pressure control to melt it and plasma or lightning to create some kind of water explosion in order to make it explode before it would turn to water vapor.

    Could it possibly work?

    And when does pressure prevent ice to form? When I increase or decrease it?

    I've been arguing like mad with a friend that told me there's no way the ice cube could be destroyed, and yet It doesn't make sense to me, because I'm sure it could be, I just can't seem to scientifically explain how yet.

    Thanks a million for your time.

    Take care.

    Mickael, (paris, france)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The phase diagram of water might be helpful here. Presure increases vertically on the Y axis and temperature increases horizontally on the X axis.
  4. Jul 22, 2009 #3
    thank you for the link. It's interesting! Complicated but interesting yet ^^
    I'll read every part of it.
  5. Jul 22, 2009 #4
    I once put an ice cube into a glass of water, and watched it melt. Someone told me this process could not be reversed because entropy would have to decrease. So we decided to record a video of it, and played the video backwards. The ice cube reformed in the glass.

    Even when the pressure is too low (<0.006 atm) for ice to melt, it will sublime (evaporate). Below 0 degrees C and above 1 atm, if you increase pressure on ice, it will melt faster (This is why ice skates work so well).
  6. Jul 22, 2009 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds like you might be writing an interesting sci-fi novel. If you do not want the water/ice creature to be able to re-form itself, separate the water into its hydrogen and oxygen components, and then combine each of those separately into very stable compounds. Encase each compound separately in environment-proof boxes, bury, and forget. Bye-bye Terminator!
  7. Jul 22, 2009 #6
    Hi Berkeman,

    Good idea, but we can't work at a "molecular level" we can only reproduce weather phenomenon. Absolutely all atmospheric phenomenon can be used.

    I know that at high temperature the atoms of the water molecules separates, in big forest fires, that's why firemen don't use water to extinguish them...
  8. Jul 23, 2009 #7
    2H2O --> 2H2 + O2

    H2 --> He


    The hydrogens will most likely never become water again, but the oxygen probably would if it was released to the atmosphere.
  9. Jul 23, 2009 #8
    yeah, but once the atoms are separated, the molecule of water no longer exist, and if one of the atoms (hydrogen) can't be associated with an existing oxygen belonging to the ice cube then, I would consider this water molecule "destroyed"
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