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Author Topic: What happens to water if you compress it more and more and more...  (Read 33819 times)

Offline Seany

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It can't just disappear can it?

I found this question on the internet, and I was having trouble trying to solve it on my own. I'm sure it cannot just disappear, but I'm curious what happens when it does get compressed compressed compressed..


 

Offline Karen W.

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Would it not become harder on the surface perhaps less penetrable sine there would be less air wouldn't it? Wouldn't compression force air from around and inside the water changing it! I am not sure, but Hope someone really knows the answer!
 

Offline Seany

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Hmm.. How about this..

Since water is H2O.. If it is compressed hard enough. The Oxygen and Hydrogen pop out? Like, separated because of the pressure. Only have a guess at it though.
 

paul.fr

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i think it would turn to ice...but possibly am wrong.
 

Offline Seany

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i think it would turn to ice...but possibly am wrong.

Ice? Explain please, I think you may be on the right track.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Hummmm thats is interesting..
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHOOPS MORNING PAUL!! LOL
 

Offline Seany

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WHOOPS MORNING PAUL!! LOL

Lol yah, HI Paul as well :) Hang on, I'll bring you your tea and some waffles ;D
 

Offline neilep

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Me asked this question a while ago..if the search facility worked I could found it...but me thinks it would get hotter. Hot enough to make a nice cup of tea.(though me drinks coffee,,but I said tea cos that sounds more quaint)
 

Offline Karen W.

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So hotter instead of colder.. why?
 

another_someone

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This question can have quite a few answers, depending on variables.

Firstly, while most liquids can shrink by becoming sold, water is one of the exceptions in that crystalline ice takes more space than water at the same temperature.  It is possible you may form amorphous ice.

If you squeeze hard enough (harder than would be possible with anything on Earth), the electrons would fuse into the nucleus of the atoms, creating neutons (this is what happens in a neutron star - but under immense gravitational force).

Increase the pressure even harder, and you will form your own black hole (although a very small black hole would be unstable).
 

Offline Seany

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Ah, my life saver George again! Thanks. I can see that your IQ is 150. :o

And Neil.. According to a Podcast I heard on this site..

You need to scream for 8 years without stopping to produce enough heat to warm a cup of coffee.. :o
 

another_someone

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Me asked this question a while ago..if the search facility worked I could found it...but me thinks it would get hotter. Hot enough to make a nice cup of tea.(though me drinks coffee,,but I said tea cos that sounds more quaint)

Any substance will get hotter when placed under pressure, and if it changes phase (e.g. from liquid to solid) it will usually generate even more heat from the latent heat of fusion.
 

Offline Seany

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But making water into a solid (ice).. Don't you cool it, instead of heat it?
 

Offline neilep

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As a firm believer in empirical study I am squeezing some water between my thumb and forefinger as hard as I can !!....it is getting warm...in fact it's evaporated !!...QED
 

Offline Seany

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Lol. I love it when you say the "As a firm believer in empirical study.." Its hillarious. :D

I think you've turned 8.5 again. :o
 

Offline neilep

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Lol. I love it when you say the "As a firm believer in empirical study.." Its hillarious. :D

I think you've turned 8.5 again. :o

OY !!...me um well klevur !!...me beat a haddock in um intelligence test...it was um close call !..methinks me was lucky that haddock was still frozen in the freezer else I would have come second !!.....let this be a lesson to ewe that Haddocks are like...well klevur !!
 

Offline Seany

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Mmm.. Yes. This is why you talk in a baby language. I see ;D
 

another_someone

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But making water into a solid (ice).. Don't you cool it, instead of heat it?

When water turns to ice, it gives off heat.

If you cause heat to be drawn away from the water, then you force it to give off the heat as you draw it away.  If you don't draw it away, it just gets hotter.

One of the things you will notice as you cool water (at constant pressure), is that as you draw energy from the water, it will (not surprisingly) get cooler; but as the water starts to freeze, you will keep drawing energy (heat) away from the water, but it is not getting colder; and only when all the water has turned to ice will the ice now start to get colder again as you draw energy away from it.
 

Offline Seany

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Yes. It gives off heat because the particles become more closer together and lose energy. But still isnt the "thing" itself, cold? Not the thing which is given off.
 

another_someone

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Yes. It gives off heat because the particles become more closer together and lose energy. But still isnt the "thing" itself, cold? Not the thing which is given off.

There are two different issues - the heat caused by compression, and the heat brought about by the change in state (from gas to liquid, and from liquid to solid).

You are correct, that as heat is merely the action of atoms bouncing off one another, so the closer to push the atoms, the more opportunity they have to bounce of each other, and so you get more heat.  In terms of the heat of compression, this is the simple answer.

When you get to a change of state, it gets a little different, because you are the amount of freedom that the atoms have to move by the structures they form (in a gas, atoms have total freedom of movement, in a liquid they are constrained by certain forces but still have a fair degree of movement, while in a solid, the atoms are all locked into place).  In creating those structures heat is given off that is nothing to do with the heat of compression.
 

Offline Seany

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OK. So we could make heat energy by compressing water?
 

another_someone

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You will certainly have the heat of compression as water is compressed.

The bit I am not sure about is the formation of ice.

As I said above, in most materials, the liquid is very loosely bound, and when the material becomes a solid, the form in which the atoms are locked into the crystal structures of the solid is more compact than the loose form of the liquid.  If one was talking about most other materials, and one discussed compressing the liquid, I would have no doubt that it would form a solid crystal, and as it does so, it will give off even more heat than would be accounted for merely by the compression of the liquid.

The problem is that water is in fact a very strange substance with unusual properties.

If you look at a water molecule, it is H2O, while a molecular weight of 18, while the oxygen gas in our atmosphere is simply O2 with a molecular weight of 32.  Looking simply at the weights of the molecules, water ought to be a gas at room temperature (steam is in fact lighter than oxygen at the same temperature).

Because of the peculiar way the hydrogen and oxygen create an electric field around the water molecule, it causes water molecules to be strongly attracted to other water molecules in a way that oxygen molecules are not attracted to other oxygen molecules.  So, this attraction between water molecules allows water to become a liquid (at normal atmospheric pressure) at temperatures at 376 kelvin (100 centigrade), while oxygen will not become liquid until you get down to 90 kelvin (-186 centigrade).

The attraction between water molecules is so strong, that below around 4 degrees centigrade (280 kelvin) it can actually keep the water molecules more tightly packed in a liquid form than they would be allowed to be in the solid lattice structure of ice.  For this reason, while in most matterials, if the solidify, the solid lumps will fall to the bottom of the liquid; whereas with water, the solid form (i.e. ice - such as icebergs) will float on the water.  It is also the reason why, if water within pipes is allowed to freeze, the expanding ice can cause the pipe to burst.

It is for this reason that I am not sure if you compress water it will form ice.  Since the ice is going to try and expand, and you are applying high pressure to the water, it will have nowhere to expand to, so I am not sure how it will react.
« Last Edit: 13/04/2007 16:32:16 by another_someone »
 

Offline Seany

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Yes.. That was most interesting. Let's just try Neil's method of squeezing it with our fingers. :o
 

Offline Ben6789

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This question can have quite a few answers, depending on variables.

Firstly, while most liquids can shrink by becoming sold, water is one of the exceptions in that crystalline ice takes more space than water at the same temperature.  It is possible you may form amorphous ice.

If you squeeze hard enough (harder than would be possible with anything on Earth), the electrons would fuse into the nucleus of the atoms, creating neutons (this is what happens in a neutron star - but under immense gravitational force).

Increase the pressure even harder, and you will form your own black hole (although a very small black hole would be unstable).


Making black holes just by adding lots of pressure? If it did..what would happen to the thing compressing it? Would that get warped? Destroyed? Would anything happen to it at all?
 

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