Ice Block, Canal Park, Duluth
Ice Block, Canal Park, Duluth

Slippery Science: The Physics of Ice

Sharon Mollerus, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

What makes ice slippery? Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly uncover the complex physics of ice and cool facts we’re still learning about it with physicist and author, Laurie Winkless.

What makes ice slippery is not as simple as you think it is. We explore the difference between pressure melting and a quasi-liquid layer in creating slippery ice. Is all ice slippery? Learn about Micheal Faraday’s theories on ice before atoms had been demonstrated. How do water molecules interact when they’re solid?

Discover nucleation as we talk about an at-home experiment you can do in your own freezer. Learn about ice meisters and the art of creating ice for sporting events. Is ice for curling different? Find out about the confusing physics in curling and why the curling stone doesn’t do what it should. Plus, what do those brooms do?

We dive into more ancient types of ice as we explore glaciology. Can ice flow? We discuss the slippery movement of glaciers, snow pack, climate change, and more. What happens when water won’t freeze when it’s cold? Finally, is there a future where we could seed glaciers?

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In This Episode

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