Sunday, April 11, 2010

Physics Lessons in your Freezer

Have you ever seen this in your freezer? We've been seeing them for a few years now and curiosity finally got the best of me.  I had to figure out how this happened.  The way I knew how ice formed (freezing from the top down) precluded this from happening.  I was thinking perhaps air pockets would burst and push water upward.  New air packets would find the same route and water would freeze on top the previous.

Well here is how it really happens.  I knew it couldn't be from water dripping down, because the icicles were formed at an angle.

Basically sheets freeze towards each other creating an inverted triangle. The heat then pushes the freezing water upward.  But the conditions have to be perfect for this to happen.  Open the freezer too early and you will stop the growth, use too warm of water and it never happens. 

Proof once again homeschooling happens all the times, in every day life.  You can't escape it.  Speaking of which...I had a proud homeschooling moment yesterday at the zoo.

A docent was sharing with some zoo goers about the elephants that live there.  He asked if anyone knew the different between Asian and African Elephants.  Do you know the difference? My 10 yr old did.  She raised her hand, much to his surprise and she said, "Asian elephants have smaller head and ears.  They also have a different shaped back. "  The docent stood amazed and speechless.  The rest of the crowd had their eyes fixed on my daughter and I wanted to yell, "And shes homeschooled!" When the docent asked I knew my kids knew the answer, but even I was surprised when one of them raised their hands to answer the question.  I was more proud that she was willing to share than that she actually had an answer.  I would have just sat there, pretending to be learning. 

The genius herself. Here we are looking at a parrot. 

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