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Old 01-19-2006, 09:56 AM
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Default Melting Ice That is in Different Shapes

helping my daughter with this project. Saw the topic- will ice melt faster in one shape than in others. So we are melting ice that has frozen in a circle, a square, a rectangle and triangle. In our first trial with 1/2 cup water each, they all melted the same time. The next trial with 1 cup, the circle melted fastest, then the square, rectangle and triangle, at different times.
We're trying to find out what this may mean, or at least some help in getting our conclusion. We'll try this weekend with 2 cups of water for each shape.
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:56 PM
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Lightbulb Maybe this will help

If you're asking how this came to be than, maybe the circular ice had less mass than the other shapes. But, if you are asking about conclusions then, I'm sorry I can't think of it.
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:18 PM
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Default Melting Ice That is In Different Shapes

Poohbear, thanks. That's what I'm looking for, so that my daughter can explain. She initially guessed that the square would melt fastest, due to the sides being equal. I forgot where on the internet we got this idea for the project/experiment, and can't get back to what conclusion may come about. I have seen mention of things with 'less mass' but don't know how to explain that or what it exactly means in terms of melting faster.

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Originally Posted by poohbear
If you're asking how this came to be than, maybe the circular ice had less mass than the other shapes. But, if you are asking about conclusions then, I'm sorry I can't think of it.
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:12 PM
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Melting is due to the heat entering the ice, and therefore, it changes into water. The heat comes from the environment. So the more exposed to the environment (more surface area), the quicker it melts. But you can't just use the surface area. You also have to consider the mass. How much do you have to melt? Let's say you have 2 cups of water forzen into ice, and it has a surface area of 4. And you have 2 cups of water frozen into ice, and it has a surface area of 5. Then the one with the surface area of five will melt faster. Everything is dependent on the mass to surface area ratio. The first block of ice has a mass to surface area ratio of 2 (4:2 --> 2) The second one has a one of 5/2, or 2.2 The one with the higher surface area to mass ratio will melt faster, because it has more surface area per cup of water.
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:03 PM
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Thanks. Guess a final question or two maybe... how do you measure mass?
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:28 PM
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Mass if how much of something there is. Mass differs depending on the force of gravity, so it differs from every planet. However, cause we're on earth, the weight is basically the mass. But mass is measured using the standard scientific units--the grams. (Basically, metric units, not american.) So use a balance that measures in grams. Or measure in oz and convert to grams.

Or...because the density of liquid water is 1g/mL, one 1mL is equal to 1g. One liter is equal to 1000 grams.

Good luck!
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