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  1. #1 Where else do you guys talk about this stuff? 
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    Hey,

    I've been reading and posting on these forums for a couple of months now and aside from this site and a couple others, I have no way of talking about science and philosophy with people. I have friends, they'd just rather talk about music or social issues. This isn't bad, it's just that I don't get my science and philosophy fill.

    Do you guys have any tips about how to get people interested in this stuff? Or is there a club or something? :P

    I'm thinking about taking some classes but I'd have to wait till next semester and take them at another school. I go to one of those liberal arts colleges.

    Anyway, any tips would be great.


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  3. #2  
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    This is the club. I am in similar boat, but the forums fill my needs when I have them.


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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I have given up trying to get people interested. This is the place. Enjoy
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    I am an engineer and, besides the work related, sometimes talk about fun science stuff with my co-workers.

    Your question reminded me of a debate at deer hunting camp. It was cold and somebody said they heard somewhere that boiled water will freeze faster than cold water. I said no way. We finally settled it by boiling some water and setting a cup out on the window sill next to a cup of cold tap water. The cold water froze first. Duh. It's not usually very stimulating to discuss science with the nonscientific.
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    Hmmm...well I really like these forums but it's not really the same as face to face discussion. I guess I'll sign up for some classes.
    I'm always confused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I am an engineer and, besides the work related, sometimes talk about fun science stuff with my co-workers.

    Your question reminded me of a debate at deer hunting camp. It was cold and somebody said they heard somewhere that boiled water will freeze faster than cold water. I said no way. We finally settled it by boiling some water and setting a cup out on the window sill next to a cup of cold tap water. The cold water froze first. Duh. It's not usually very stimulating to discuss science with the nonscientific.
    Never said a truer word. Or ever tried discussing Free Will with someone who doesn't know/care?

    Forums like this are, I feel, responsible for the intellectual renascence of any number of people - I know my brain had decided to go to sleep for some years before '96 when I discovered this whole new interweb thingy. Intellectual life has been so much richer since.
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  8. #7 Re: Where else do you guys talk about this stuff? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatTron
    Hey,

    I've been reading and posting on these forums for a couple of months now and aside from this site and a couple others, I have no way of talking about science and philosophy with people. I have friends, they'd just rather talk about music or social issues. This isn't bad, it's just that I don't get my science and philosophy fill.

    Do you guys have any tips about how to get people interested in this stuff? Or is there a club or something? :P

    I'm thinking about taking some classes but I'd have to wait till next semester and take them at another school. I go to one of those liberal arts colleges.

    Anyway, any tips would be great.
    Take some classes! It'll get you scientific friends and you can talk about it as much as you like - plus you'll be learning a lot about it and thus can talk science better with the scientific minded.

    I go to a liberal arts college with a great science program

    I'm also in our ACS Student Affiliates club. There could be another science type club at your school.

    sunshinewarrio and Harold14370: And I do agree I enjoy talking science so much better with the scientific minded.
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    I think 'laymen' often underestimate themselves. When you present them with some theory or observation they seem to think "ah that's science, I haven't studied so I'm not allowed to talk about it". Sure you need some education to understand scientific knowledge in detail, but the general principles can be interesting for everyone.

    But rather than solving that problem you can also just go where other intellectuals go I'm in a political youth organization and there nearly everyone studies or has done so, so it's easy to start a conversation on science. There are lots of other 'meeting places' of intellectuals that are not explicitly meant for scientific discussion, but which are still suitable for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    I think 'laymen' often underestimate themselves. When you present them with some theory or observation they seem to think "ah that's science, I haven't studied so I'm not allowed to talk about it". Sure you need some education to understand scientific knowledge in detail, but the general principles can be interesting for everyone.

    But rather than solving that problem you can also just go where other intellectuals go I'm in a political youth organization and there nearly everyone studies or has done so, so it's easy to start a conversation on science. There are lots of other 'meeting places' of intellectuals that are not explicitly meant for scientific discussion, but which are still suitable for it.
    I agree.

    I think what also happens is that people are intimidated by science/math in a way. They think they aren't smart enough. They have pre-conceived notions of extreme difficulty. Then they go into classes thinking they can't do it. This attitude prevents them from learning it. Then they complain about how hard the class is even though they probably aren't trying to their best potential. They give up too quickly. They go "oh, yep, it's difficult, I'm not even going to begin to try and understand it." Then they're the ones that tell you "You're studying chemistry? It killed my GPA in high school/I hated that class/chemistry was soo hard!"
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Fe)male
    I think what also happens is that people are intimidated by science/math in a way. They think they aren't smart enough. They have pre-conceived notions of extreme difficulty. Then they go into classes thinking they can't do it. This attitude prevents them from learning it. Then they complain about how hard the class is even though they probably aren't trying to their best potential. They give up too quickly. They go "oh, yep, it's difficult, I'm not even going to begin to try and understand it." Then they're the ones that tell you "You're studying chemistry? It killed my GPA in high school/I hated that class/chemistry was soo hard!"
    Hmmm.... saw a lot of that at Uni and shortly thereafter.

    [rant]

    Worse, though, was that a lot of these people developed into those who, now at my age, sneer at science and hug any post-modernist nonsense available: they're the true anti-intellectuals. "It's not relevant." "It's the economy stupid." "What does that have to do with the price of fish." "Why are you so scientistic - it's not as if science provides any answers." "You're just science worshipping - you can never prove any of this." And so on.

    Primarily, I feel, trying to make up for their feelings of inadequacy with regard to science, but in the process creating a world in which being dangerously dumb is legitimised and even praised.

    [/rant]

    'Pologies for that, but sometimes my goat gets well and truly got.
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    It's about being serious. Tell what you know and what you don't. It makes it easier for folks
    to join in.

    Space was always a good theme, especially at night time if it's being dark.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Primarily, I feel, trying to make up for their feelings of inadequacy with regard to science, but in the process creating a world in which being dangerously dumb is legitimised and even praised.

    [/rant]

    'Pologies for that, but sometimes my goat gets well and truly got.
    Amen to that, brother. It drives me crazy how so many people are so skeptical/critical of science and are so incredulous about some of the conclusions it draws simply because they don't understand it well enough. And then they call it being open minded or some other farce. One example that gets me is animal rights activists saying that animal testing can be replaced with tissue culture and computer simulation. Um, no. Clearly a lack of understanding of the complexity of a whole organism. And yet they sometimes still pull enough weight to close down labs. Arg!
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Primarily, I feel, trying to make up for their feelings of inadequacy with regard to science, but in the process creating a world in which being dangerously dumb is legitimised and even praised.

    [/rant]

    'Pologies for that, but sometimes my goat gets well and truly got.
    Amen to that, brother. It drives me crazy how so many people are so skeptical/critical of science and are so incredulous about some of the conclusions it draws simply because they don't understand it well enough. And then they call it being open minded or some other farce. One example that gets me is animal rights activists saying that animal testing can be replaced with tissue culture and computer simulation. Um, no. Clearly a lack of understanding of the complexity of a whole organism. And yet they sometimes still pull enough weight to close down labs. Arg!
    But science is very closed minded.

    The most radical advances were made by the VERY few scientists who were OPEN minded.

    Do you dispute this?
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Primarily, I feel, trying to make up for their feelings of inadequacy with regard to science, but in the process creating a world in which being dangerously dumb is legitimised and even praised.

    [/rant]

    'Pologies for that, but sometimes my goat gets well and truly got.
    Amen to that, brother. It drives me crazy how so many people are so skeptical/critical of science and are so incredulous about some of the conclusions it draws simply because they don't understand it well enough. And then they call it being open minded or some other farce. One example that gets me is animal rights activists saying that animal testing can be replaced with tissue culture and computer simulation. Um, no. Clearly a lack of understanding of the complexity of a whole organism. And yet they sometimes still pull enough weight to close down labs. Arg!
    But science is very closed minded.

    The most radical advances were made by the VERY few scientists who were OPEN minded.

    Do you dispute this?
    I didn't say that it's bad to be open minded. What's bad is to dress ignorance up like healthy skepticism. Following Harold's example, it's bad if a person who thinks boiling water could freeze faster than room temperature water also thinks they're just being open minded to the possibility. That's just a rather pathetic lack of understanding of how states of matter work. (No offense to your friends, Harold. I'm sure they're wonderful people, all else considered.)

    Also, science is not close minded. Science is a process. It doesn't have a mind to be open or closed. People are close minded, and as a subset of people you will undoubtedly find both close and open minded individuals among scientists. No, I do not dispute that many radical advances in science were made by very open minded scientists.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    lol, agreed re the boiling water thing.
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    All due respect to everyone. I just wanted to remind to be careful when you use sentances that start with they if your objective really is to bring enlightenment on any subject.
    The most important thing I have learned about the internet is that it needs lot more kindness and patience.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I talk about science with other scientists.

    I don't talk about science with my wife for instance because she zones out after 4 words or less. She couldn't care less about the freak stuff that I do or think about.

    Keeps me firmly rooted on the ground.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demen Tolden
    All due respect to everyone. I just wanted to remind to be careful when you use sentances that start with they if your objective really is to bring enlightenment on any subject.
    If that's to my address, I book-ended my comments as a 'rant' - it was not intended to be enlightening, but a venting of my feelings, merely.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    One example that gets me is animal rights activists saying that animal testing can be replaced with tissue culture and computer simulation. Um, no. Clearly a lack of understanding of the complexity of a whole organism. And yet they sometimes still pull enough weight to close down labs. Arg!
    I don't wish to derail the thread bu there are many scientists who argue that a vast amount of the current animal testing could be conducted by alternate means. Perhaps not all, yet, but certainly more than at present. That means scientists engaged in such research, using live animals, are ignoring/rejecting the ethical concerns of society. In the long run that is not the way for science to gain acceptance by the public at large.
    Paralith, if you feel this merits more discussion pm me and Ill split these out into a separate thread.
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    Oh dear me. Deary, deary me. My open minded friends, Harold, Paralith and even, incredibly TofR. All quitely complacent about cold water freezing faster than hot water. All so sure that thinking anything else could be the case, simply illustrates how ignorant the peasants can be.

    The truth is that in many experimental circumstances the hotter water will freeze before the colder water. This is an observed scientific fact. Learn to live with it and as you adjust your thinking ask yourself which other of your cherished notions may be so much humbug.

    This is one of the better discussions of the topic on the web:
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physic...hot_water.html

    "...when the initially warmer water has cooled to an average temperature of 30° C, it may look very different than the initially cooler water (at a uniform 30° C) did at the start. Why? Because the water may have changed when it cooled down from a uniform 70° C to an average 30° C. It could have less mass, less dissolved gas, or convection currents producing a non-uniform temperature distribution. Or it could have changed the environment around the container in the refrigerator. "

    Here is another:
    http://www.wiskit.com/marilyn/freezing.html
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    One example that gets me is animal rights activists saying that animal testing can be replaced with tissue culture and computer simulation. Um, no. Clearly a lack of understanding of the complexity of a whole organism. And yet they sometimes still pull enough weight to close down labs. Arg!
    I don't wish to derail the thread bu there are many scientists who argue that a vast amount of the current animal testing could be conducted by alternate means. Perhaps not all, yet, but certainly more than at present. That means scientists engaged in such research, using live animals, are ignoring/rejecting the ethical concerns of society. In the long run that is not the way for science to gain acceptance by the public at large.
    Paralith, if you feel this merits more discussion pm me and Ill split these out into a separate thread.
    nah.

    we use more mice every year. that's because of social pressures. they only give funding when you get articles in high impact journal articles. you only get those by using an excessive amount of transgenics. Especially since the demands are getting stronger. there needs to be more data in every paper. Or should I say the expectations are getting higher.

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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    One example that gets me is animal rights activists saying that animal testing can be replaced with tissue culture and computer simulation. Um, no. Clearly a lack of understanding of the complexity of a whole organism. And yet they sometimes still pull enough weight to close down labs. Arg!
    I don't wish to derail the thread bu there are many scientists who argue that a vast amount of the current animal testing could be conducted by alternate means. Perhaps not all, yet, but certainly more than at present. That means scientists engaged in such research, using live animals, are ignoring/rejecting the ethical concerns of society. In the long run that is not the way for science to gain acceptance by the public at large.
    Paralith, if you feel this merits more discussion pm me and Ill split these out into a separate thread.
    Well, let me be a little more specific. Obviously, if the specific question you're trying to answer with your research can be accomplished with a means other than animal testing, yes, I do agree that it should be done. However there are tests, drug testing being one example, where you really need the whole organism to answer your question, which following my example, would be the safety of a given drug. It is for these types of questions that I am defending the use of animal testing. I suppose if we wanted to get into a debate on what questions do and do not justify animal testing, we could start a new thread, but other than that, I don't see any particular need to.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Oh dear me. Deary, deary me. My open minded friends, Harold, Paralith and even, incredibly TofR. All quitely complacent about cold water freezing faster than hot water. All so sure that thinking anything else could be the case, simply illustrates how ignorant the peasants can be.

    The truth is that in many experimental circumstances the hotter water will freeze before the colder water. This is an observed scientific fact. Learn to live with it and as you adjust your thinking ask yourself which other of your cherished notions may be so much humbug.

    This is one of the better discussions of the topic on the web:
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physic...hot_water.html

    "...when the initially warmer water has cooled to an average temperature of 30° C, it may look very different than the initially cooler water (at a uniform 30° C) did at the start. Why? Because the water may have changed when it cooled down from a uniform 70° C to an average 30° C. It could have less mass, less dissolved gas, or convection currents producing a non-uniform temperature distribution. Or it could have changed the environment around the container in the refrigerator. "

    Here is another:
    http://www.wiskit.com/marilyn/freezing.html
    Consider me officially humbled. I actually told my boyfriend about this last night as well, and he said much the same thing. Though I believe the original question was that of boiling water vs cold/room temperature water. Warmer water will conduct heat loss better, but actively boiling water is a somewhat different animal.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Besides classes, seminars are good. Sometimes these are held at planetariums, museums, etc. There's often free food as well.
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    Well, if anyone lives in Minnesota, I'm always willing to get an earful of any subject. I just listened to a friend of mine describe his ideas on relationships between crop circle spiritualists, Jung's collective unconscience, and conscienceness as a dimension for about 3 hours a few days ago. I'm sure I'll soon hear back from him on the results of his continued research.

    I find that you don't necesarily have to find people knowledgable in a field to have a good discussion. Sometimes it doesn't make much of a difference if a person is knowledgable or not, just that they have a genuine interest to listen, learn, consider anything to be plausable, and conduct their own research. I suggest just talking to random people until you find one of these. Philosophy always seems like a good way to open the door if you can't jump directly into the science.

    I also apologize for being judgemental earlier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Oh dear me. Deary, deary me.
    Well, I'm calling BS because I did the test twice tonight and the cold water froze first. I also have my own dueling web site link.

    http://itotd.com/articles/521/water-...boiling-myths/
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    I'm gonna back Harold on the freezing boiling water thing. Just wanted to throw that out there.
    I'm always confused.
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    I believe that if you throw a cup of water into the air, hot water would freeze quicker than cold water. It has to be pretty cold though and I'd imagine a low humidity would help also. What happens I think is the internal kinetic energy of the hot water means that it forms smaller droplets and, my O my, freeze faster. In fact before it hits the ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I believe that if you throw a cup of water into the air, hot water would freeze quicker than cold water.
    Come on Kalster, this is a science forum. You cant just make stuff up. Well, you can, but you shouldn't.
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    I'm not. I have seen video's where people throw steaming cups of water into the air where it turns to powder ice almost instantly. How large a factor do you think the cohesion force is when water is close to boiling point? Much less so as it is about to overcome it and move to another state. So does my assessment still smell of manure?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I'm not. I have seen video's where people throw steaming cups of water into the air where it turns to powder ice almost instantly. How large a factor do you think the cohesion force is when water is close to boiling point? Much less so as it is about to overcome it and move to another state. So does my assessment still smell of manure?
    It makes a little more sense now that you have explained you saw it on a video. Did they also throw cold water which did not freeze?
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    No, but all the cups of water they threw into the air was hot water, which makes me think that it works best with hot water. None of the videos were about scientists doing experiments, but people doing it as a way to show how cold it is. Independently of this, I have also heard the thing about hot water freezing faster and when I read this thread immediately thought of those videos. I think maybe you thought I meant the water would freeze into an icicle.
    Another thing I just thought of, is that hot water would produce a lot of steam that would freeze very quickly because of the volume to surface area ratio and provide a holding point for the ice crystals to form onto?
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    Check this out.

    http://itotd.com/articles/521/water-...boiling-myths/

    Harold was right about the boiling water, no contest. Although I guess in certain circumstances warm water freezes faster than cold water because the warm water evaporates faster leaving less liquid to freeze.
    I'm always confused.
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    I've seen a few of those videos your talking about kalster. I think for it to freeze in the air the temp is usually something well below 0 F. I always thought they used boiling water simply so they had time to take it outside and throw it before it froze. If hot water freezes that quickly it seems likely that cool water could easily freeze over too quick to even throw.

    First youtube video that I found for those that haven't seen it, its pretty interesting.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=fi633CtOHJM
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    No, but all the cups of water they threw into the air was hot water, which makes me think that it works best with hot water. None of the videos were about scientists doing experiments, but people doing it as a way to show how cold it is. Independently of this, I have also heard the thing about hot water freezing faster and when I read this thread immediately thought of those videos. I think maybe you thought I meant the water would freeze into an icicle.
    Another thing I just thought of, is that hot water would produce a lot of steam that would freeze very quickly because of the volume to surface area ratio and provide a holding point for the ice crystals to form onto?
    You may be onto something because the surface tension does decrease with increasing temperature which could make the droplets smaller. OTOH, maybe it is just more impressive on the video to freeze steaming hot water in midair.
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    I realise this is an old thread, but I found this on a new member's website:

    How does boiling water + freezing day = ice?.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  38. #37  
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    May depend on the water as well.

    If you boil water which has some solutes in it, the solute concentration will increase as evaporation occurs, and this will decrease the freezing point. The experiment needs to be done with distilled water and in containers that provide no insulation, presumably, as such might hold heat as the water cools.
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