Science Questions

What temperature would a cube of ice be in the Arctic?

Sun, 4th May 2008

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Question

Geoff, Nevada asked:

If I created a box about 0.5m per side and I made it out of ice 3cm thick, I put a thermometer inside this sealed box and put it in the arctic would this sealed box measure 0 degrees or something else?

Answer

If the sides are just made of solid ice then it will behave just like a box made of anything else or made of stone or anything. Slowly over time it will cool down to the same temperature as the air around it. However if you had a box of ice filled with water then instead of the water cooling down when heat is taken out of it from the cold environment outside it will create ice. Slowly the water inside it will freeze and as long as there’s water in there that water can’t be much below 0 degrees centigrade. If you had a box of ice full of water then it would be zero and as soon as it freezes then it could get below that.

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