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RE: Science - Ice paradox

Jun 19, 1998 09:25 AM
by John E Mead

>From: "Jake Jaqua" <>
>ubject: Science
>        "  A vacuum holds onto energy the way ice holds
>onto heat. When
>     ice melts, it releases that heat, which turns into the
>energy of
>     rapidly moving water molecules. In the same way,
>     believe a vacuum can melt, releasing energy."
>  Ice ABSORBS heat to turn into water.  When
>water RELEASES heat, it turns into ice, not as the article

Your point is true,  but misses a very unique dynamic of the ice
which the article probably was referring to...

generally --  compounds get (physically) smaller when they freeze.
so to heat them up you actually have to add the heat to melt the
substance and *ADD* the heat to push your environment outward to make
room for the larger fluid state (work done against the atmosphere

water doesn't work that way.  when water freezes it EXPANDS.  That is
why ice floats instead of sinking (into the pond and killing the fish etc.
each winter   :-).  Hence you have the energy to add to melt the water
*MINUS* the energy you get free when the atmosphere expands to fill in
the *smaller* volume of the liquified water. The expansion of the
atmoshere into this volume is a cooling effect on the outside Universe
as the water melts.

peace -

john e. mead

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