I am new at this and apologize if this is an inappropriate question per the rules. I hope it is not but I imagine it might be. In all cases, maybe this goes without saying, but in all cases I am looking not only for the answer to my question but also the basis of the answer. I am interested in the very specific event of liquid water turning to ice. Is there any scale at which this is an instantaneous event? Is there a transitional state between liquid water and ice? I believe that (at least one of) the current understandings of nuclear physics includes certain discontinuities. Is that true? If so, is that understanding of discontinuity related in any way to what might be a discontinuity that might exist (over time I guess) between water in a liquid state and water in a solid state? Is there something of a critical mass? Do there need to be a certain number of molecules prepared to make the transition before the transition will occur? I guess one molecule of water can't freeze because the act of freezing is a process of entering into a fixed crystalline arrangement with other molecules? How long does it take for water to freeze? Once it has arrived at the appropriate temperature, is there a formula that tells us how long it will take to convert liquid to solid, given the rate of removal of energy?