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Published on January 7th, 2014 | By: Eileen De Guire


Video: Amateur atomizing in polar vortex

Published on January 7th, 2014 | By: Eileen De Guire


The record cold that is gripping the United States and Canada has kept most of us indoors. However, curious minds with idle time will not be denied.


Last Thursday, as the polar vortex began its swirl, a fellow in South Porcupine, Ontario filled a squirt gun with boiling water and shot the stream into the –41 degree air. The atomized hot water froze almost immediately—fast enough to freeze on the upward arc of the stream, creating the illusion of spraying snow. This YouTube video shows the experiment.


In a recent huffingtonpost.com story, science popularizer Ainissa Ramirez explains the basics of the science involved. Regular readers will recall that we’ve featured a number of her Materials Marvels short videos explaining materials science phenomena in CTT.


And is that –41 Celsius or Fahrenheit? It’s both. That is the unique temperature at which the temperature values intersect.



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