Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Strange Ice cube behavior

  1. Aug 31, 2007 #1
    So, i've noticed that when I freeze ice cubes these strange icicles appear on the top of the ice. I took a picture, included as an attachment.

    Not really sure how something like this forms. Please no speculation.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2007 #2

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    That is formed by deposition from above. Drip, drip, drip. Think stalagmite.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2007 #3
    I don't see how, its a freezer...every thing is frozen, so nothing drips from above. Also, its not formed vertically, it is at an angle to the normal.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2007 #4

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you can come up with an alternate answer (one that does not violate the laws of physics) please feel free. There is only one way that a stalagmite-type extension can form on an ice cube. There could be a number of causes for the dripping, but the method of formation (deposition of liquid water from above and freezing into a column) is not negotiable.
     
  6. Aug 31, 2007 #5

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    All freezers have defrost cycles, JabberWalkie. There most certainly is liquid water on the walls and ceiling from time to time.
     
  7. Aug 31, 2007 #6

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Not "negotiable"??? Holy Jeez Turbo...

    They are not stalagmites. Just because it walks like a duck doesn't mean it's a duck!


    They are called Ice Spikes. They are formed as the top layer of water freezes over, leaving a smaller and smaller hole. The expansion of freezing water below this thin layer of ice causes water to bulge up through the hole, where it freezes in a ring.


    Physically, if they can be compared to anything, they are more akin to deep sea volcanic vents.


    (And I knew this before I looked on Wiki)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2007
  8. Aug 31, 2007 #7

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Dave is exactly right. This is just the inverse effect of shrink porosity in metal casting (hence the use of risers).
     
  9. Aug 31, 2007 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Wow, I'd never heard of those things either. Learn something new...
     
  10. Sep 3, 2007 #9
    Nice...

    Thanks guys!...i knew it couldn't just be water dripping from the roof.....had a hunch that there was some cool physics going on here. Thanks guys!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Strange Ice cube behavior
  1. Ice Cube (Replies: 7)

  2. Heating up an ice cube (Replies: 3)

Loading...