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Why is ice white

  1. Mar 8, 2014 #1
    When we look into the ice cubes, there is a white colored part in the middle(inside at the center). I google searched and most of them say it's the colour of the gases trapped inside when it froze.
    But there are no white coloured gases inside. is there? lets take oxygen, its a colourless gas. CO2 , colourless........ etc.
    So why is ice white?? is it due to the impurities inside it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2014 #2
    Scattered reflection from the tiny gas bubbles.
     
  4. Mar 8, 2014 #3
    why white??
     
  5. Mar 8, 2014 #4

    ZapperZ

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    Look at it using red light. Do you think it is still "white"?

    Zz.
     
  6. Mar 8, 2014 #5

    adjacent

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    So the sunlight is scattered?
     
  7. Mar 8, 2014 #6

    UltrafastPED

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    The tiny bubbles are "white" for the same reason as sugar or salt granules - scattering of the sun/room light.

    Since the light contains all of the visible colors of the spectrum this "optical mixing" generates white light.

    Larger grains of salt or sugar, or larger bubbles are transparent.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2014 #7
    Which is also the same reason a bubble bath is white, and a cloud is white, and snow is white, etc...
     
  9. Mar 8, 2014 #8

    adjacent

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    That answers my childhood question :smile:
     
  10. Mar 9, 2014 #9
    yeaa!! now i know! soo if we boil and remove the gases inside, will the ice be transparent?
     
  11. Mar 9, 2014 #10

    PhysicoRaj

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    You boil ice and it still remains ice?
     
  12. Mar 9, 2014 #11
    nah! its not like that! boiled water!! :3 if we boil water and then freeze it, will it be transparent?
     
  13. Mar 9, 2014 #12

    PhysicoRaj

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    Nice to try! I never tried this so you might. :)
     
  14. Mar 9, 2014 #13

    OmCheeto

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    It may take a few tries, according to these guys.
     
  15. Mar 9, 2014 #14

    Borek

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    It calls for an experiment, what are you waiting for?
     
  16. Mar 9, 2014 #15

    adjacent

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    I think you will need to boil it and freeze it in a vacuum to ensure that there are no gases.
     
  17. Mar 9, 2014 #16
    we can keep it in a place where there are no soluble gases?
     
  18. Mar 9, 2014 #17

    adjacent

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    Removing soluble gases are in my opinion, more difficult than making the place a vacuum.

    :wink:
     
  19. Mar 9, 2014 #18

    OmCheeto

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    Creating a vacuum is easy. Proving you've created a vacuum, is hard.

    I'm up for it.

    Crystal clear ice images in x hours!

    0 < x < ∞
     
  20. Mar 9, 2014 #19

    russ_watters

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    Ever see a hockey rink...?
     
  21. Mar 9, 2014 #20
    If you use a vacuum the water will boil and freeze at the same time, you will end up with bubbles of water vapor. Better to start in an environment pressurized with only water vapor. Also, If you cool the sample too rapidly the outside surface will freeze before the center, thus trapping the water in the center and creating stress as the center freezes and tries to expand. This could result in stress fractures that would scatter light just like the bubbles did and cause a white appearance.
     
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