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Israeli Scientists Freeze Water By Warming It

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the you-must-become-the-frozen-water dept.

Science 165

ccktech writes "As reported by NPR and Chemistry world, the journal Science has a paper by David Ehre, Etay Lavert, Meir Lahav, and Igor Lubomirsky [note: abstract online; payment required to read the full paper] of Israel's Weizmann Institute, who have figured out a way to freeze pure water by warming it up. The trick is that pure water has different freezing points depending on the electrical charge of the surface it resides on. They found out that a negatively charged surface causes water to freeze at a lower temperature than a positively charged surface. By putting water on the pyroelectric material Lithium Tantalate, which has a negative charge when cooler but a positive change when warmer; water would remain a liquid down to -17 degrees C., and then freeze when the substrate and water were warmed up and the charge changed to positive, where water freezes at -7 degrees C."

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165 comments

I could be stupid (4, Insightful)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044480)

But I was expecting something along the lines of "Researchers manage to make water freeze at greater than 0C," instead of "Researchers manage to make water freeze below normal freezing temperature."

Haven't they ever heard of salt? Or Anti-freeze?

Re:I could be stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044502)

Really the only interesting thing is that it's pure water.

Re:I could be stupid (5, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044542)

I thought pure water doesn't go solid, not until an impurity starts crystal formation that turns the water into a solid?

Re:I could be stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044626)

Everything freezes at some point. It's merely lower for pure water.

Re:I could be stupid (5, Informative)

Linzer (753270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044894)

I thought pure water doesn't go solid, not until an impurity starts crystal formation that turns the water into a solid?

In many cases, the surface of the container has defects which can play that role.

Re:I could be stupid (5, Interesting)

pj81381 (1703646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045130)

I thought pure water doesn't go solid, not until an impurity starts crystal formation that turns the water into a solid?

This comment seems really unintuitive so I looked around a little. Ice [wikipedia.org] can actually form entirely without crystallization, by cooling it to ~137 C in a matter of milliseconds. The article also mentions that "pure water, in the absence of any nucleating surface, can remain in a supercooled liquid state down to temperatures as low as -40C". I guess that means that pure water will begin crystallizing at this temperature anyway.

Re:I could be stupid (5, Insightful)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045676)

Exactly, this is well known, and is the difference between homogeneous nucleation caused by the massive undercooling providing the energy to nucleate ice spontaneously versus heterogeneous nucleation which requires much less free energy and occurs dependent on surfaces.

It is not scientifically interesting that they warmed it to get it to freeze, that's just a comparison of freezing points... it's interesting that the charge of the surface modified the freezing/nucleation point. Frankly, I am amazed that this was published in Science; it seems like worthwhile research, but for a journal more like, say... applied physics letters or a more specific interest journal. Kudos to the researchers for managing to spin it as a general-interest paper when it is in fact a fairly simple observation of an obscure phenomena.

Re:I could be stupid (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045246)

Actually, liquid water already contains quite a lot of tetrahedral "crystalline" structures floating around amongst the other molecules. So it really shouldn't need anything external to crystallize around... it already has some of its own.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045566)

So you are saying that even in a "liquid" state, water has crystals that have formed? Fascinating. It truly amazes me how little we know about water and how we keep discovering new things about it. There are a lot of quacky people that think the homeopathic effect works, but if you ask me, it really sounds like pseudo-science. The placebo effect may actually be more powerful, so what does that say?

Re:I could be stupid (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044566)

Salt and anti-freeze just have typical freezing-point depression; there's no way to use them to produce a situation where water that is a stable liquid at one temperature will turn solid if you increase the temperature. The situation in this experiment is that water that's liquid at -17 C will freeze as you head it up towards -7 C.

Re:I could be stupid (3, Interesting)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045088)

But it wasn't really a difference in the water, it was a difference in the container around the water. That is a well known phenomenon with airborn freezing temperature water, that it freezes on impact instead of while traveling through (clean) air.

Re:I could be stupid (2, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045412)

So that's why my car gets covered in an inch-thick sheet of perfectly clear ice. That's always bothered me, thanks!

Re:I could be stupid (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045440)

You are correct about the humidity in the air, and how the most obvious effect of that (at least to those of us in colder climes) is the formation of black ice on the road... but I think the interesting part of this experiment isn't that they were able to cause the water to freeze by raising the temperature from -17'C to -7'C, it's how they were able to do it. Namely, that the freezing point of water changed based on the electric charge of the surface the water is on. Shouldn't really come as a surprise, as it's probably an effect of the way the electrons dance around the H2O molecule, but seeing it actually happen is interesting and may have applications to other substances than just water.

Re:I could be stupid (4, Informative)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044648)

You missed the point. The neat thing is that water was liquid, and then they WARMED it, and it froze. It is just a gimmick, but it's not just that they managed to get it to freeze at a temperature below 0C. It's that, due to the interaction between temperature, charge, and the freezing point, they reversed the normal COLD-WARM SOLID-LIQUID order.

Re:I could be stupid (3, Interesting)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044758)

You missed the point. The neat thing is that water was liquid, and then they WARMED it, and it froze. [...] they reversed the normal COLD-WARM SOLID-LIQUID order.

In this supercooled water experiment [youtube.com] video, notice that the supercooled water freezes after the bottle is tapped. So energy is put into it, meaning that it is warmed up slightly. Isn't this also reversing the cold-warm solid-liquid order?

Re:I could be stupid (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045096)

Yes.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045236)

NO. You can also "reverse the cold-warm solid-liquid" order by changing the pressure. This is ridiculous. The title makes it sound like you can just warm up water and make it freeze. And people are actually arguing that it's amazing. The changed the temperature while simultaneously changing another variable. That's cheating.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045328)

Exactly. They didn't JUST warm the water, they changed the surrounding conditions at the same time. While I wouldn't necessarily say it's "cheating" (because they weren't even trying to freeze the water by "just" warming it up), it certainly wasn't freezing water by warming it.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31046172)

By "cheating" I meant it's cheating if the game you are playing is called "try to freeze water by warming it up." They just didn't do that.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 4 years ago | (#31046066)

Doesn't look very much like supercooled water. Atleast two details are missing. First, if it was supercooled, I would assume condensed water droplets on the surface of the bottle, or frost. Also, if it actually was frozen water, the bottle should expand as the ice takes up more volume than liquid water. It most likely is sodium acetate dissolved into water.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044878)

Making water freeze at >0'C is actually very easy. Just reduce the pressure [wikipedia.org]

Re:I could be stupid (1)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045192)

Except that the triple point is at about 0.01 C, so that's the warmest you can freeze water without turning to some novel method like these guys did. In fact, reducing the pressure from the triple point will get you a gas, not a solid.

Re:I could be stupid (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045314)

Researchers manage to make water freeze at greater than 0C

That's easy, all you need is a vacuum.

It'll boil at the same time, but that can't be helped...

Re:I could be stupid (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31046154)

This could lead to a way to make ice cream without salt. They've managed to lower the freezing point of water without having to put any chemicals in the actual water itself.

Applications? (3)

paskie (539112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044482)

That does sound really cool, even as a fundamental research, but are there some cool real-world applications I'm not thinking of?

Re:Applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044604)

...some... sort of elaborate... water cleaning...thingymajig?

Re:Applications? (3, Interesting)

kamochan (883582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044950)

Apply that weird surface to generate the weird behaviour, and use it to power a Stirling engine.

Re:Applications? (1)

cntThnkofAname (1572875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044998)

are there some cool real-world applications I'm not thinking of?

Seeing that the water was bellow freezing in both cases, you can bet on some cool application!

Re:Applications? (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045014)

but are there some cool real-world applications I'm not thinking of?

A pyroelectric lithium tantalate ice cube tray? In animal shapes?

Re:Applications? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045752)

but are there some cool real-world applications I'm not thinking of?

Cheaper cooling solutions for super computers than stuff like Flourinert, of course this could also makes for dirt-cheap AC units, refrigerators and so on.

Just think...no more bulky compressors for cooling.

Progress (5, Funny)

brettz9 (969574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044498)

It's not quite Hell, but it's an impressive step in that direction...

Re:Progress (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044642)

How so? Water usually freezes around 0 C, they managed to make it freeze at -7 C. That's the wrong direction if you are trying to figure out how to freeze hell.

Re:Progress (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045536)

Indeed. And their research is apparently directed at creating peace in the Middle East...

Overflow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044508)

By reading the title only, I thought the overflow-bug of water was finally found.

Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044514)

So first they cool it to -17 degree and it remains a liquid, then they warm it up to -7 degree and it freezes. That's like traveling from Greenwich to the Arctic via Antarctica and then call it a scientific discovery that one can actually reach the Arctic by going south, right?

Re:Let me get this straight (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045134)

So first they cool it to -17 degree and it remains a liquid, then they warm it up to -7 degree and it freezes. That's like traveling from Greenwich to the Arctic via Antarctica and then call it a scientific discovery that one can actually reach the Arctic by going south, right?

No, it's more like the realization that Canada is south of Detroit [google.com].

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045988)

No, it's more like the realization that Canada is south of Detroit.

I need a global map with the lettering right side up.

Anti-freeze (1)

ramsun (62627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044544)

I wonder if it's feasible to coat this material on the inside of water pipes, to prevent them freezing in winter?

Re:Anti-freeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044694)

No, it freezes at -7C.

Re:Anti-freeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045260)

and?

Re:Anti-freeze (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044714)

Sure, but do you really want your water pipes freezing in the summer instead?

Re:Anti-freeze (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045356)

I doubt you would want to coat your water pipes with Lithium Tantalate. First, tantalum is very expensive, and second (though this is only a wild guess) it could very easily be poisonous. Lithium can be pretty nasty stuff, and I don't know about tantalum.

Re:Anti-freeze (2, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045902)

Tantalum is non-toxic, but you know it doesn't really work like that. Sodium is explosive; chlorine is toxic; sodium chloride is tasty.

Still, as you say, lithium tantalate is going to be far too expensive for coating pipes.

Dowsing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044576)

An Australian from Mitta Mitta who failed a dowsing test claimed that he only failed because the water was "electrically charged wrong".
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4694530584288972114

Re:Dowsing (4, Funny)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044976)

A dowser was working Down Under
when his failure caused him to ponder
"the charge on me watta
was more than it oughta.
So I couldn't tell lightning from thunder."

Israeli Scientists (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044582)

I don't remember the science story yesterday Physicists Discover How To Teleport Energy being called Japanese Physicists Discover How To Teleport Energy. Is the fact these scientists are Israeli title worthy?

Re:Israeli Scientists (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044662)

Obviously Chemists are more nationalistic than Physicists...

Re:Israeli Scientists (2, Interesting)

jschen (1249578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31046092)

Modded very funny, but with some element of truth. The grandest experiments in physics often require significant international collaborations and highly specialized instrumentation (think Large Hadron Collider) that demand large-scale pooling of resources. On the other hand, at least at this time, there really are no projects with such requirements in chemistry. Sure, there are many vibrant chemistry collaborations, but not nearly of that scope. So you can easily end up working only with people nearby, competing with a similarly capable team in another country (or in the same building). There are plenty of interesting problems in chemistry where a single person or a small group could produce a significant breakthrough through the creative design and execution of simple experiments using readily available equipment and chemicals.

Re:Israeli Scientists (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044742)

Re:Israeli Scientists (2, Insightful)

aysa (452184) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044790)

I don't remember that stories about Italian/Japanese/German/British/French/Canadian scientists were ever questioned for mentioning the country of origin. Is the fact these scientists are Israeli disturbing you?

Re:Israeli Scientists (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044798)

I don't find it particularly disturbing. I was pointing out the examples for the opposite reason--- to suggest that "[Nationality] Scientists" is not a particularly unusual phrase, contrary to the claims of the poster I was replying to.

Re:Israeli Scientists (0, Offtopic)

aysa (452184) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044832)

Sorry, you were pointing the facts correctly. I was addressing the AC parent, which was not only leaning towards hate speech, but also got a worrisome +4.

Re:Israeli Scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044928)

"but also got a worrisome +4."

I can't find the 'worrisome' option, and I have mod points at the moment.

Re:Israeli Scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045114)

I was addressing the AC parent, which was not only leaning towards hate speech

Leaning towards hate speech? Oh, come on, that's the stupidest thing I've heard today so far.

Imagine for a moment, if you will, that it wasn't Israeli scientists but rather, say, Norwegian ones (just as an example). So there'd have been a headline saying "Norwegian scientists freeze water by warming it", and some AC (not me, I might add) asking whether it's really important that it was Norwegian scientists and why the headline was mentioning that specifically.

Would you then say that this question was "leaning towards anti-Norwegian hate speech"? I doubt it, and here's why: it'd be total rubbish.

Here's some advice for you: lay off the paranoia. Not everyone's out to get you, or the Israelis, and sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar and a question is just a question.

Re:Israeli Scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044812)

The real news is that they didn't change anyone for doing it.

Re:Israeli Scientists (1)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044838)

Indeed. I remember something that I think I heard Chomsky saying, it might have been in response to one of those silly people that claim science is just like religion, and he mentioned something about the Nazi term Deutsche Physik and how that was silly, as when he reads a well written scientific paper he has no idea about the culture or religion of the author as science aims for objectiveness and tries to avoid subjectiveness. It shouldn't matter one bit who is doing the science, their name, country or ethnicity does not affect whether the science is correct or not.

I couldn't help though, when seeing the title of thinking "Jewish scientists conspire to freeze water by warming, redefine black as white and turn the world upside down!".

From the summary though anyway, what they've done sounds very interesting.

Re:Israeli Scientists (-1, Offtopic)

lanner (107308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044848)

It's basically important to the Israelis that they don't appear to be a giant crosshair bomb drop spot for every single country they border, and then two and three countries away, that they don't commit horrible war crimes and acts against humanity while clutching the the victim story of yesterday (of which most victims are now dead and were victimized by completely unrelated people and countries), and that they might half a quarter-tiny-half chance of a viable economy (you know, if the United States wasn't giving the billions each year).

So, it's important to them, but no, nobody else really cares.

Given that their police would put three bullet holes in my Mac Book pro on my arrival to the air port, I think I'll never ever go there in my lifetime.

Re:Israeli Scientists (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044954)

Wait until you see tommorow's story: American Slashdot Editors Add Superfluous Words When The Title is too Small.

Nothing new I have noticed this with my beer ;-)) (4, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044628)

When I put a beer in the freezer too long but not that long, when I take it out of the freezer, I can see it is pretty 100% liquid inside the bottle. Now, taking it out of the freezer makes it warmer and opening it even warmer due to air circulation inside the bottle.

Well, when I open it, it turns to ice so I make my beer freeze by making it warmer so nothing new here ;--))))

Very seriously, I swear this is true but I understand it could be due to other factors that the ones described in TFA like pressure inside the bottle but I thought it would interesting to mention anyway.

Haven't anybody else seen their beer freeze in their hand while opening it just after it has been in the freezer although it was in a liquid state when they actually took it out of the freezer ?

Re:Nothing new I have noticed this with my beer ;- (3, Informative)

spydum (828400) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044636)

That's an old bar trick. It has to do with the co2 being released on pressure change. Nothing like the science these folks have described.

Re:Nothing new I have noticed this with my beer ;- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31046102)

If "nothing like" means "not in a bar"...... then yes, nothing like that.

Re:Nothing new I have noticed this with my beer ;- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31046208)

That's an old bar trick. It has to do with the co2 being released on pressure change. Nothing like the science these folks have described.

That's simply the enthalpy dropping as the CO2 expands and escapes the bottle. It's like how some aerosol can gets cold to the touch if you keep spraying for more than a few seconds, that expanding gas takes quite a lot of energy along with it.

Ah, I see you are an american (5, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044734)

You clearly must be an American, since you compare beer to water. Over here in the old world, we know there is a difference by the taste for one.

Re:Ah, I see you are an american (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044764)

My first thought on reading the GP was "will this work with bottled real ale, or is it just hops-flavoured soda water like Budweiser?"

Re:Ah, I see you are an american (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044902)

Bud is very much an American lager, but you are criticizing it poorly; see, it isn't particularly hoppy, and it has a rather high alcohol content (for a mass market beer).

Contrary to what kids think (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045062)

Good beer is NOT about the amount of alcohol, it is about the flavor. If it has low alcohol, you just can drink more of it. Granted, the better tasting beers tend to have high alcohol content, but I am sure that is just a coincidence. As is the fact that my new driving license has "revoked" pre-stamped across it.

Re:Contrary to what kids think (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045082)

Yeah, well, I was answering someone who called it soda water, which it really isn't, sorry you read something else into it.

Re:Contrary to what kids think (3, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045650)

I think he was referring to the fact that it tastes like fizzy water with beer-like flavour, not the alcohol content. And Budweiser tastes pretty darned watery, even compared against other beers of the same type. Ales usually have a heavier taste to them, so it's not really fair to compare Budweiser against something like Guiness or Caledonian in terms of flavour. It is, however, fair to compare it against a good lager like Pilsner Urquell. Even when you compare it against a shitty lager, like Labatt Blue (which is also a pilsner, like Budweiser), Budweiser comes out on the bottom.

(and no, I'm not saying that Canadian beer sucks, just that some of the most popular Canadian beers suck. Namely, Labatt and Molson. If you want a good Canadian beer, try something like Steam Whistle, or Wellington. We don't export the good stuff. Similarly, I think the Australians are smart enough to export the shitty beers and keep the good stuff for themselves, as are the Dutch... think about that when you order a Fosters or a Heineken.)

Re:Contrary to what kids think (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045708)

It may be the case that I misinterpreted soda water, but it isn't unreasonable for me to point out that 'alcohol is teh awesome' was not the context of my comment, especially when the comment came with the 'Contrary to what kids think' bullshit.

Re:Ah, I see you are an american (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045442)

Actually, your typical Budweiser is roughly around 3.4% alcohol by volume, which is quite weak. In the days before and during Prohibition it would have been scoffed at and called "Near Beer", made for kids. But it is that way today because of post-Prohibition laws that restricted beer to lower alcohol levels. In some states that is. For some reason around 3.3-3.4% was a fairly common level when it came to such laws.

My state used to have some weird laws carried over from those days. They have changed somewhat since. But until pretty recently, (1) it was illegal to show alcohol content on bottles, cans, or their packaging. (2) Beer bought in regular stores was limited to 3.4% alcohol by volume. But you could get beer or ale of higher alcohol content at a state liquor store.

That led to some strange situations. For example, you could get Rainier Ale in the store, at 3.4%, and at the liquor store at about 9% if I remember. But because of the law, there was no indication of strength on the cans, which all had identical green and gold printing. So people made some pretty major mistakes now and then.

Fortunately the laws here have become somewhat more reasonable, but a typical domestic mass-produced lager in most of the U.S. is still usually around 3.4%. It's getting better, though, with all the smaller breweries that have started up.

Re:Ah, I see you are an american (2, Informative)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045560)

Not only is it not particularly hoppy, it has a pretty significant rice content. If anything, bud is hop-flavored rice alcohol. This being said, it's still my favorite mass market beer.

Re:Nothing new I have noticed this with my beer ;- (1)

BoogieChile (517082) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045332)

Yes, I have. I consider it one of the crowning achievements of my life. Beer at -4 degrees C is a wonderful, wonderful thing in an Australian summer.

Testing with a digital thermometer was fun too. If the beer was too cold, dipping the tip of the probe into the beer is enough to start a cascade of freezing that blooms down through the whole bottle in about a second. Interesting phenomena to observe. But a waste of beer.

With practice, I got the method worked out. Slow and careful is the key. Higher alcohol beers work better.

Re:Nothing new I have noticed this with my beer ;- (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045856)

Yes, but it's due to the pressure changes and release of dissolved CO2. :-)

Oy Veh! Hot Popcicles (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044690)

If your date is frigid, and the cialis is ready to go...

Serious Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31044696)

You can tell they're real scientists because they have their own Igor.

That's nothing. (5, Funny)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044724)

One of these guys managed to turn water into wine 2000 years ago...

Re:That's nothing. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045408)

One of these guys fooled a bunch of people into believing he turned water into wine (quickly), or rather somebody who was helping to author the greatest work of fiction in known history added that talent to the story.

Re:That's nothing. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045524)

Was that before or after walking on it? Yuck.

Re:That's nothing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045938)

I take it you've never seen how wine is made. Those grapes have to get pressed somehow.

So that's Frozone's trick! (2, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044760)

He must be negatively charged (thus keeping water a liquid on or in him) and then the moment he "releases" it, it freezes!

Could there be some sort of industrial application for this, like ice-making where you have a jet of "liquid" water (because it is kept in a negatively charged apparatus) but upon contact with something, loses its charge and freezes? How about rapid construction of ice sculptures? Just like spray on concrete.

I even seem to remember someone in WWII proposing making giant pontoons/floating islands out of ice and hay.

How about in Antarctica/on Mars using it for rapid construction of ice domes? Once it solidifies it won't melt.

Re:So that's Frozone's trick! (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045296)

How about in Antarctica/on Mars using it for rapid construction of ice domes? Once it solidifies it won't melt.

I dunno about Antarctica but I think sublimation [wikipedia.org] would be a problem on Mars.

This is cool... (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31044810)

and warm at the same time... Being capable of controlling freezing point of water with an electric field could have very interesting applications in automotive and building industry.

Moses out of Egypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045066)

The discoverers being jewish boffins, I wish to ask if this pyro-electric trick can be used to divide the Red Sea by high-teparature freezing, so that it can be passed on dry land by barefoot, chariots, battle tanks and re-flooded on whim?

Opposite still working? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045068)

Turning ice into water by cooling it?

In any direction, changing state (or prevent that change) not using plain heat, but just charging electrically could make some applications more energy efficient.

big deal (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045102)

Supercooled water will freeze with just about any trigger. The precise mechanism of this is kind of neat, but as an effect, it's not terribly surprising.

Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045234)

Maybe this will be the thing that proves global warming a myth. If you warm water, and it still freezes, we'll still have icebergs and no massive coastal flooding. Right?

Posted anonymously because someone isn't going to take this as a joke.

Re:Global Warming (0, Offtopic)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045316)

HARBL HARBL HARBL HARBL!!!! Glenn Beck loving global warming naysayer! HARBL HARBL... I got nuttin.

What, no Mr.Freeze tag on this article? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045688)

You could make one heck of a freeze gun with this technology... spray things and they freeze

Are they calling it Ice-Nine? (2, Funny)

ibirman (176167) | more than 4 years ago | (#31045834)

Hmm, water ice that is stable at a higher temperature than liquid water? Can anyone say ice-9?

Finally proof of snow caused by Global Warming!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31045878)

This explains why Washignton DCis under so much snow right now even though we have global warming!!!

Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31046014)

While the field the water is in is certainly going to alter the internal structure. I'd be surprised if this extended into the bulk liquid. Otherwise water near electric cables would be notorious for odd freezing.

More likely whatever phase change the lithium tantalate went through to cause a charge change. Will also cause surface effects and irregularities for nucleation. Or visa versa.

In any case this is just a short range effect and won't be useable. Beyond the distance the field persists.

Title is completely wrong, sorry but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31046084)

The water doesn't freeze because it's warmed up.
The water DOESN'T freeze because of a negative electrical charge.

Of course, since it's below it's freezing point, once the negative electrical charge is removed, it freezes.
The fact that the substrate providing the negative charge changes to a positive charge at about -7 C and thus stops preventing the water from freezing is important to know, but doesn't change physics.

Why has Slashdot been getting so many bad/wrong headlines of late?

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