Winter is here! You may not be a fan of the cold weather, and that is perfectly fine. If you are a child at heart, however, you may even know a couple of cool interesting activities. Using the temperature to your advantage can produce quite curious results.
The temperature of winter offers value to the seasons. Anyone can enjoy the intriguing and simple science of cold temperature experiments. Want to know how to transform the idea of winter into something you may possibly enjoy? Try these simple tricks for the season.
From Boiling to Frozen
This trick can truly have amazing results. If you have ever watched water freeze instantly in the outside temperatures, this is even better!
Nothing is quite as spectacular as throwing boiling water into the air and watching it freeze before it ever hits the ground. There are a few stipulations, however. The air must be very cold and dry, somewhere around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions are necessary because they do not allow an abundance of moisture to be held in the air. Hot water, as most people know, offers more water vapor than cold water, thus causing the rapid freeze. Also, when the boiling water is thrown into the air, there is more surface area, thus more water vapor.
Take heed, this trick can be dangerous. If you are not sure of the air temperature and which direction the wind is blowing, making a hasty decision can actually cause bad burns from the boiling water.
Easy Winter Slushy
A cold treat may not be the first thing you think of during the winter, but if you can create your own, it’s worth it! In fact, you do not need a slushy machine to do the trick, nor do you need to buy one of those handy dandy slush cups through the mail. All you need is the right temperature and your favorite soda!
First, you must vigorously shake a bottle of room-temperature soda. Make sure the soda has not been opened. Place the soda in the snow or somewhere with constant freezing temperatures. The idea is for the soda to remain at below freezing temperatures until just before solid freeze. When you are ready to test your slushy, pick up the bottle and pour the contents into a glass. As the liquid pours, it will turn into slush, right before your eyes. You must be careful not to move the bottle around too much before the pour, because the nucleation process can start prematurely. This would ruin the enjoyable treat! Practice makes perfect in this case.
Ice and the String
Kids would love this! After freezing ice, remove one cube for the experiment. You will need string, salt and little bit of water as well. For a moment, allow the ice cube to melt. Lay the string across the ice cube and pour a bit of salt along the surface where the string is located. After about 30 seconds, the string will be stuck to the ice cube and you will be able to pick up the cube by the string alone. What occurs is the salt reduces the melting point of the ice. The cold air from the inside of the cube refreezes the ice and makes the string stick. Voila!
Balloons and the Temperature
If you want to understand the relationship between volume and the temperature of gas, this trick is for you. Simply inflate a balloon inside the home and then walk outside during sub-freezing temperatures. As the gas, inside the balloon, grows colder, the balloon will slowly deflate. When returning inside, the balloon will begin to re-inflate again.
Charles’s Law helps us understand this process. As the temperature of the gases inside the balloon decreases from the cold, the volume also decreases. Back indoors, the pressure of the gas will increase again, which makes the volume inflate the balloon once more. This process is a manipulation of both pressure and volume. It makes a cool trick too!
For even more fun, draw pictures on the balloon and watch the images change as the volume changes. You can also try inflating a balloon outdoors and watch the balloon grow bigger when you bring it inside. It may even pop!
If you like to blow bubbles, you will love this one! Blowing bubbles in sub-freezing weather can create something magical. When winter is here, and the temperatures start to freeze the mud puddles, then go outside and blow a few bubbles as well. Watch as ice crystals begin to form on the exterior of the bubble, right before it hits the ground.
You can either use store bought bubble solution or make your own. Use a mixture of water and dish detergent for the best effect. You can even add a bit of glycerin or corn syrup to make your bubbles more resilient. With this additive, the bubbles can land without popping, especially if they have a cottony layer of snow to rest upon. You may even be able to pick up the bubble and admire your work!
If you are not a winter person, that’s okay. Finding something fun and exciting to do during the cold season will help break the monotony of staying inside all the time. Science has shown us wonderful ways to enjoy the winter season and learn a few things in the process. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it!