back to article Just in time for summer boozing: Boffins smash world record for the most perfect ice cubes

An international team of chemists has set the new record for crafting near-perfect cubic ice crystals. Sadly, the ice cubes are so small, they are invisible to the naked eye. This is according to a study in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. It might sound trivial, but it is an extremely difficult task – one that involves …

And

I can make ice cubes in the shape of the Death Star - way cooler (!!!) and visible with the naked eye to boot !!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: so Desperation

So if they get the cubic versions big enough to be visible, are they going to keep my margarita from melting as fast?

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Facepalm

Re: so Desperation

No

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Re: so Desperation

No

Which is why I use the plastic freeze-them-in-the-freezer ice thingies. They don't water down the drinks.

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Pint

Re: so Desperation

>Which is why I use the plastic freeze-them-in-the-freezer ice thingies. They don't water down the drinks.

Same here, though, I never let ice spoil the beverage when out and about ;-)

Grabs coat, checks Psion, crap, not Friday, yet ... puts coat back and returns to cubicle.

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Anonymous Coward

Why is ice slippery? It isn't a liquid - unless it momentarily melts with friction. Made of hexagons one might have expected a relatively rough molecular surface?

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Holmes

Apparently it is a liquid, well a thin layer on the surface is.

https://www.livescience.com/32507-why-is-ice-slippery.html

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Angel

Feynman, Why is ice slippery?

https://youtu.be/wMFPe-DwULM?t=2m16s

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Coat

The more we find out, the less we find we know.

I also remember reading how ice and water generally has some of the weirdest properties of pretty much anything. Make water a solid and it gets larger not smaller and thats just the tip of the iceberg...Ah. I'll get my coat.

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Anonymous Coward

Yellow Ice.

That is all.

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Facepalm

Watch out where the huskies go

You'll have more than yellow ice.

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Thumb Up

That's a -48c super cooling. Astonishing. Possibly with major effects on climate models

So small crystals may have a very large impact on human understanding.

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Go

as long as it doesn't detract from the scotch I'm drinking I"m fine with it.

He says knowing he will probably start a war on the benefits of ice / no ice with scotch.

Oh well start your engines!

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vir
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Ice Wars

You can't put ice in scotch! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!

That said, which fruits are acceptable to put in a Pimm's cup? Cucumbers and...?

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Pint

Re: Ice Wars

"You can't put ice in scotch!"

Not in a proper single malt you can't, but it enhances a crappy scotch (you know who you are...) and makes it almost drinkable.

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Re: Ice Wars

Not in a proper single malt you can't, but it enhances a crappy scotch (you know who you are...) and makes it almost drinkable.

Life is too short to drink bad whisky. Especially bad whiskey.

(Who was it said that US whiskey is called sippin' whiskey because only a fool takes more than a sip?)

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Re: Ice Wars

Cucumber, orange, borage and mint. No-one objects to some whole raspberries and strawberry slices, best to save limes for the mojitos. I disapprove of apple in Pims because it doesn't soak up enough booze

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I've heard it both ways, and another interesting addition of just a few drops of water. Something reacting something... I'm no chemist.

Scotch on the rocks is for people who drink it a lot and a lot of it. I prefer only one per evening. Just like only one glass of Champagne... Too much of a good thing ruins it..

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Anonymous Coward

"[...] and another interesting addition of just a few drops of water."

In school physics we were taught that two equal volumes of liquids occupy twice the space. Later on we were told that an exception is alcohol and water. Their molecules fit together to occupy less than their expected space. It is very difficult to distil pure alcohol because of their affinity for each other.

Apparently adding water to an alcoholic drink makes the human body absorb it more effectively. A watered down drink makes you drunk faster.

Antifreeze (glycol) is interesting. As you mix it with water the freezing point decreases - until a critical point is reached after which it increases. This an example of a eutectic curve.

It seems that for every real world rule of physics - there is always a limiting case where it no longer applies.

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any true chemist would know ...

...that the secret to the perfect ice cube is to refine it in a water container with some special mix that contains barley, hops and yeast.

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Re: any true chemist would know ...

You don't put ice in beer! Beer should be drunk at cellar temperature!

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most perfect

There is no such thing as "most perfect" is there?

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Re: most perfect

I suppose you could say 'closest to perfect', it's a gray area I think.

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Re: most perfect

Maybe a mixture with some mixtures having more perfect cubes than others?

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Headmaster

Re: most perfect

In this case it is not a range of perfection that is being stipulated, but an amount relative to other efforts. The scientists created more examples or a greater percentage of perfect ice cubes than previous groups have.

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Devil

an important process that could improve climate change models

I've read too many papers with the word could thrown about. Sometimes, they even use could potentially, and then you know it's even more far-fetched.

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"could improve climate change models"

= Not a hope of improving climate change models but I would like a research grant to check this.

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Headmaster

"to probe the atomic structure of the droplets"

I'm pretty sure that's not what they were doing.

In this case atoms, molecules and crystals are all different things.

And x-ray diffraction isn't great at probing atomic structure anyway.

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Unhappy

Whoops!

I hope that they don't accidentally make ice9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice9

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Re: Whoops! - I hope that they don't accidentally make ice9

I assumed that was the sole purpose of the experiment. One way to fix AGW for good.

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First time I saw a moon dog

I'm a rational man. I follow the scientific method. However, the first time I saw a moon dog, with a full moon centred within a giant glowing ring, like a giant cosmic eye staring directly at me - I completely understand how people believed in gods.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: First time I saw a moon dog

On recent nights there has been a clear sky with a brilliant full moon. Looking at it with the naked eye - I marvel that some ancients made the leap to proving it was an enormous orbiting sphere a long way off,

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Halos from cubic ice? Rly?

You write:

"Scientists think cubic ice may be responsible for creating light halos that are sometimes visible around the Sun, as the sunlight is reflected from the clouds."

Most haloes are caused by refraction rather than reflection. Although it is true that a very rare halo display seen in Chile has been explained by the presence of cubic crystals (see https://doi.org/10.1364/AO.39.006080 ) , most of them (including all the ones in your picture) can be explained by ordinary hexagonal ice. Readers who want to waste a LOT of time looking at pretty pictures of haloes can head over to http://www.atoptics.co.uk/halosim.htm

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Anonymous Coward

Reminds me of...

... that super clear ice in a mountain lake, from a video doing the rounds a couple of years back.

http://io9.gizmodo.com/whats-the-explanation-behind-this-incredible-lake-walki-1669578742

I had some ice like that some years ago in a fridge at work, a whole big block that was like perfect glass. Most impressive!

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Pint

Re: Reminds me of...

For clear ice, (if memory serves) the trick is to freeze it slowly, like around 0 to -1 Celsius. This gives the ice crystals (hexagonal) a chance push the air out of solution, rather than trapping it in suspension.

Slow freezing is also a good way to freeze-distill (jack) wine/cider, as the crystals will also push the ethanol out of solution.

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Cubic Ice

Be careful if you ask a question about this in the supermarket.

You may be pointed in the direction of the pharmacy section.

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Pimms No. 2 please

Thank you good sir.

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