Water is usually pretty predictable. At standard pressures it will boil at 100˚C and freeze at 0˚C. However, under special circumstances it might surprise you. Dihydrogen monoxide can become supercooled, dropping below 0˚C while maintaining the liquid phase of matter.
- Acquire distilled or purified water.
- Fill an empty bottle with tap water (this is your control).
- Place all three bottles in the freezer at the same time
- Leave them in for roughly 2 hours (if all of the water was originally at room temperature)
- The timing of this will vary with each freezer. After the first hour, check on the bottles periodically to check for signs of freezing.
- The bottle filled will freeze before the purified water. At this point you will know that the purified water is below zero, and is ready to be removed from the freezer.
- Take it out, give it a hard slam on the table, and watch the H2O turn from liquid to a solid right in front of your eyes!
The liquid will flash freeze into a solid. By hitting it on the table, the water molecules are bumped into alignment in a more crystalline structure, typical in solid ice. This induces a chain reaction that you can follow all the way down the bottle!
Written By: Mimi Garai