Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'm confused

Any science whizzes out there? (Adam?)

I've always understood that a liquid could not be compressed. In other words, any material in a liquid state cannot be "squeezed" into a smaller volume of space.

But now with all this global warming talk, I'm hearing of "thermal expansion" of the water causing sea levels to rise. But wait a minute, if adding heat to the ocean waters causes the water to expand, then wouldn't the converse also be true? That is, if we remove heat from the water, it will shrink?

That sounds like compression to me.

So where is my error? Something is amiss here.

I also learned that even if the whole arctic sea melted, the oceans wouldn't rise because the weight of the ice is already part of the sea level. (The arctic is landless as opposed to the antarctic.)

Sea levels will rise due to the thermal expansion mentioned before and from the melting of land locked ice. (The glaciers of Greenland for example.)

Alright enough of that seriousness. For HNT, let's get silly again. Here I am eating my "pudding cake" which I made during the cram-anything-into-my-mouth-except-cigarettes hell of the first few days of non-smoking. It's actually the filling for Banana Cream Pie made into little cakes. True to form, I put anything of such color and texture coming out of my nose for a shock pic. (This can't be helped, I think it's genetic) Happy HNT. (click here for more info about HNT)

27 comments:

madamerouge said...

Well, t, it looks like we dodged a bullet on his hnt post!

Big T, I'm confused about "thermal expansion" now, too. However, I've read that the real threat of melting polar ice will be the climate changes it wreaks on the ocean currents--because of the inherent change in ocean water salinity around the pole(s). Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute did a study looking at how the Norwegian Current (?I think) could basically be cut off, drastically affecting the North American Current, and plunging the UK into a mini-ice-age.

nongirlfriend said...

My genes cause me to cross one eye and stick out my tongue in about every picture someone tries to take of me.

I can't think which is worse.

(cute shirt, by the way)

Happy HNT!

Cincy Diva said...

It doesn't actually compress. In a gaseous state there is more space beteen the atoms. as it cools the space between the atoms becomes less which turns it into liquid (water). cool it some more and more space is lost and it becomes solid (ice).

Sunny Delight said...

lol! great pic, and i learned so much today...expansion of the brain! HHNT!

S. said...

Mmmmm. I think you should go for crack next week...just my opinion though. I did a while back.

Jamie said...

LOL...

HHNT!

Snooze said...

I love the fact you have to play with your food. That's so great.

Crimson said...

Sounds yummy :) HHNT!

toobusyliving said...

If Jimmy made it into work today he'll be able to answer your question.

Rye said...

Here a link to a discussion on water compression:

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/eng99/eng99234.htm

PS - are you in the act of compressing that donut - oh teachers!!!

_Psycho said...

Hmmm donuts !

Jason said...

Darn, I should have had my camera handy and I would've posted my HNT of me eating a whole box of Kraft Dinner followed by a bag of pretzels.

Nice HNT.

Normlr said...

It's 9:45 am. All this thermal expansion talk is too much for first thing in the morning.

Me like pie.

Bellarosa said...

Happy HNT!

St. Dickeybird said...

It makes sense. As the temperature rises, the molecules spread farther apart. The same with cooling, they get closer. Thus, swelling and shrinkage.
It happens with solids, liquids, and gasses.
Notice that your doorframe gets tighter in summer?
Same thing.
Yes, I'm a geek.

Steven said...

Ok, I read the post, then looked at the photo and thought huh?

Then, I really looked at the photo: subversively-polite, passive-aggressive Canadian humour!

lime said...

too funny but congrats on working to quit smoking. whatever it takes! happy HNT!

Sandouri Dean Bey said...

i share your confusion.

Lee said...

Right. I remember this from science. When you take away heat, the bonds between the atoms become looser, and expand slightly. So the same volume of water is bigger in size when it is ice.

This explains why you can't do proper cyrogenics: the cells contain water, and when it freezes, it expands and breaks the cell wall. And thus, I won't be getting my Bette Davis clone out of the fridge any time soon. Oh no.

Adam said...

Yes. Everyone pretty much covered what I would have said. Thermodynamics is truly fascinating and one of my favorite topics. However my forte is more in the Biological sceinces.

Why am I always the 20th person to comment on this blog? Its not like I get here late in the day. Damn you and ferocious readers! I'm just jealous. :)

Patricia said...

uhh yeah i was gonna go ahead and explain the whole thermonuclear (NU*CLEAR) dynamics but gosh, it would appear that others beat me to it. very sad.

The Other Half said...

please don't make me think so hard

The Persian said...

You are adorable even WITH that ooze coming from your nose! :)

Happy HNT!

t said...

So I guess the oceans would rise - not because the Arctic melted - but because the Antarctic melted.
Since the Antarctic is a land mass, you know, it's not part of the oceanic system.
If I'm wrong, at least it sounded good.

Phoenixboi said...

Sounds like you got your answer...

Happy HNT!

tornwordo said...

Okay, I hear what everyone's saying. But don't you see some inconsistencies in the logic?

If we add heat to water, it expands (the excited molecules require more space), and if we take away heat from water, it expands (at least when it becomes a solid, as in ice).

What shrinks the water?

Anyway, I just remember from physics that the liquid form is the "densest" form matter can have. Liquid steel is denser than solid or gaseous steel. Same with water. But I had thought that that meant you couldn't shrink it.

It was Rye and his link that really explained it. "Under normal lab conditions, both solids and liquids are considered to be incompressible" It goes on to explain that in fact, all states of matter are compressible and the way to achieve it depends on the existing pressure and temperature.

I love learning. Thanks everyone.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

I need to think on regarding thermal expansion, I know more about waisteline expansion!!

I had to quickly revert back from the HNT link because of where I am ;)