Vocabulary

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Tiassa, Dec 6, 2008.

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  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Questions about words we don't know exist? Ask them here. Hopefully, someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

    For instance ....

    Is there a word that describes the relationship between freezing and melting?​

    What got me to thinking about this word is nothing other than Kool Aid. See, for some reason, Kool Aid freezes in my refrigerator. Milk, apple juice, even straight water don't. It's just the Kool Aid. (Okay, also root beer and orange soda.) Can I draw a simple conclusion from this? Well, it seems safe to say that Kool Aid has a higher freezing temperature than water. But, today, I set the pitcher out to thaw, and what I'm getting from it is a slightly syrupy, notably sweeter liquid melting off a core of ice that, as the process goes along, becomes more and more pale, as if the Kool Aid thaws more quickly at a given temperature than unadulterated water.

    So it seems as if a relationship between freezing and melting contracts when you introduce the powdered concentrate and sugar. On the one hand, I don't understand this, largely because I don't study the sciences closely. But it seems to me the problem I have describing the phenomenon is in part related to the fact that I'm trying to use a lot of words to get after what there might be a single word to describe.

    Or does any of this make sense?
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    The word is "slush".
     
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  5. EndLightEnd This too shall pass. Registered Senior Member

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    There are many things that do not have words to describe them. Its tough though because I am sitting here and I am unable to think of anything that doesnt have a word associated with it because we think with words. Of course any time anything new is discovered a new word is needed. And really there are an infinite number of words that dont exists.

    Haha thats funny, but thats more of a description of the state between freezing and melting, not a relationship.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There's a term that labels both freezing and melting - phase change.

    Gregory Bateson was talking years ago about how quickly we run out of words and concepts when considering levels of differences. The difference between freezing and melting would be the difference between the differences we see in freezing and those we see in melting.

    A "higher" level of differences, that is.

    His example was of the difference between two colors compared with the difference between two of something else (two smells? maybe). What is the difference between those two differences, that is.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    If you mean the relationship between the two words, they're antonyms. If you mean the relationship between the two processes, isn't one phase change just the opposite or reverse of the other?

    The phenomenon you're observing with the Kool-Aid is just the combination of two effects. One is the effect of dissolving molecules of other substances in water on the melting/freezing point of water, and the other is the effect of temperature on the solubility of various substances in water.

    Dissolving salt in water, for example, lowers its freezing/melting point, and that's why we pour salt on icy roads in the hope of thawing the ice and making them safer. The salt crystals at the bottom of the layer of salt touch the ice crystals at the top of the layer of ice, lower their melting point below their current temperature (if you're lucky and the weather isn't too terribly cold), and turn them into liquid water. The salt immediately begins dissolving in the water, and now you've got liquid saline solution (with its lower melting point) in contact with the top layer of ice molecules, and it conducts and convects heat much more efficiently than solid ice or solid pure salt, so the process accelerates itself.

    And now, note that as the temperature of the water is lowered, its ability to retain dissolved substances decreases. In the kitchen you've surely noticed that it's a lot easier to dissolve just about anything in hot water than in cold water. However, to complicate matters, the effect of the rising or falling temperature of the water is not identical on the solubility of all substances.

    So when you have a combination of multiple substances dissolved in water that's frozen (e.g., the catalog of polysyllabic man-made chemicals that make up Kool-Aid plus the occasional natural molecule like sugar), and melt it slowly, you'll get a hodgepodge of substances solidifying and re-dissolving at different rates. As the temperature rises, some of them will dissolve more quickly into the newly forming liquid water, whereas others don't. This will separate the melting ice into one layer that contains dissolved molecules of one substance and therefore melts more quickly, versus another layer that doesn't contain the more stubborn dissolved molecules of the other substance, and therefore does not melt as quickly.

    There's also a phenomenon known as supersaturation. If you keep pouring sugar into boiling water until no more will dissolve, and then you cool that water quickly and carefully, then even though you're reducing the solubility of the sugar, the sugar molecules get trapped by the rapidly dropping viscosity of the solution, and don't quite have enough mobility to precipitate out. If you suddenly put a cold stick into the solution, the sugar will quickly precipitate around the stick, creating what in the U.S. we call "rock candy": gigantic sugar crystals. It's the exact opposite of confectioner's or "powdered" sugar, with its exquisitely tiny crystals.
     
  9. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    I don't know, Tiassa, but I have this sneaky feeling that both you and Fraggle have some inner need/desire to see your own huge, wordy, lengthy post on the screen. I think if either of you had any of those "special" words that take the place of many words, you'd both still opt to use many words!

    Is there are term for people who prefer to use tons of words to express themselves when just a few words would do?

    Baron Max
     
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    There's a Japanese word that means the space between clouds but I can't remember it now.
     
  11. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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  12. CarpetDiem Burnin' hours, season days Registered Senior Member

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    ...hmmmm....Bombastic
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    And when is it that "just a few words would do?" The only thing you express in your pithy little barbs is how you feel about things. You never actually provide any information. Even telling us how you feel doesn't really convey any information, since the way you feel is invariably hostile. All you have to do is sign your name and we can pretty much fill in what you would have said.
     
  14. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Well, neither you nor Tiassa knows, that's for damned sure!

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    Well, you didn't do bad that time, but still used too fuckin' many words! If you'd have stopped at the second sentence, it would have been more than sufficient ...yet, wordy as you are, you had to continue! ...LOL!

    Baron Max
     
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Part I made bold is not correct POV. You only get supersaturation with clean liquids when cooling them. Lack of crystalization out of solution is not due to lack of "mobility."

    It is lack of mutual binding during molecular colissions of still highly mobile molecules (surgar molecules in your case). When two molecules collide they just bounce off each other instead of stick to one another because there is no way enough of their relative kinetic energy can be lost / disipated.* If you put a tiny (but large on a molecular scale) solid object** into the suppersaturated solution, it will have many internal modes that can absorbe most of the kinetic energy of the molecule that hits it. I.e. that molecule then has a good chance of sticking to the tiny solid you introduced into the solution. Then more will do the same until the solution is no longer staurated.

    Test what I state with a very tiny sugar crystal that you have warmed. I.e. drop it into your supersaturated solution and watch it quickly grow. Note that unless you have very clean solution (not even very tiny "specks" of dust in it) YOU WILL NOT HAVE SIGNIFICANT SUPERSATURATION. Rain making by "cloud seeding" is the same process. The tiny seeds make it possible for the supersaturated (with water vapor) air to form microscopic dropplets of liquid (or solid in many cases) H2O.
    --------------------
    *Occasionally two will stick as they happen to have relatively little relative KE, but then a third, with more typical KE with collide with the pair and "unstick them." You need a collection of stuck together molecules sufficiently large that on average the collection can absorb almost all of the colliding molecule's KE in their internal modes (I.e. make a couple or so new phonons with in the structure.)

    **It can even be warmer than the solution - it is not the fact that your stick was colder, but admittedly that helps, as it does cool the solution temperature immediately adjacent to the stick. Thus making the kinetic energy of the molecules collisiding with the stick less, so easier to disipate during the collision with the solid.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008
  16. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    aren't clouds part of the sky? anyway, this begs the question of what the Japanese words are for sky

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