Does an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Air or Water?

Science classes made us do various experiments to answer hypotheses such as what works faster, what moves slower, what properties this substance has and what melts easily in various temperatures or conditions. This may be tedious to perform in the laboratory, but we have no choice but to perform what we were told for us to gain good grades.

But as we allow ourselves get into the experiments we were told to do, we can actually gain a lot of insights as Science is always a part of our daily life. Everything is involved with matter and its properties and it is very interesting to know how small particles make things happen. One of the common experiments done in Science classes is answering the question does an ice cube melt faster in air or water.

Can we make an intelligent guess over this problem? When we put an ice cube inside a glass of water in room temperature, we can observe that the ice floats on the water. A portion of the ice cube protrudes on the surface making it exposed to air while most portion of the ice is submerged in the water. But when we observe closely, the ice cube really melts faster in water than in air.

What is the explanation behind this answer? We all know that the molecules in liquid are more held toge ther than the molecules in air. With this fact, the molecules that are bind closer will produce faster rate of heat transfer. Aside from this, water also has greater heat capacity than air, thus explains this phenomenon.

When we are eager to learn more, we can also observe that the ice cube will eventually sink at the bottom of the glass. But through watching with keen eye at the same time preventing the ice cube from further sinking, we can watch that the ice indeed would melt faster in water than in air.

However, this experiment can be affected with some factors such as temperature of the medium (air and water for this case). When air is blowing at a faster rate on the ice cube, this will hasten melting the ice. When the ice cube is also exposed at differing temperature, then it is likely for the ice to melt faster over the environment with warmer temperature.

Perhaps when we are still in doubt over the answer, then we can make our version of this experiment and who knows we can delve more insights about this and share to the experts the knowledge we just discovered.

3 Responses to “Does an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Air or Water?”

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  1. George Flower says:

    Ice is less dense than water, so it always floats. (The ice does NOT go to the bottom of the glass)

  2. George Flower says:

    Your commentary says that the ice-cube will eventually sink to the bottom of the glass. This is not true, the ice cube will float as it gradually melts.

  3. timnaydra bradley says:

    water because if you put in hot water it will melt faster because the hot water burn the ice cube plus the air that comes in the cup to help it melt faster.p.s i’m only 9 in a half and im doing this for a science fair project

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