Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Since Physics Was So Easy Yesterday

It is generally accepted that matter expands with increasing temperature, and contracts with decreasing temperature. There is one notable exception. Which is it, and why has nature provided for it?


  1. Water stops contracting as it approaches the freezing point and instead starts expanding as it freezes.

    You can't really say there's a reason why nature has provided for it. Unless perhaps if you believe the Strong Anthropic principle holds. But yes, it keeps lakes from freezing solid and such.

    Unless you were aiming for Kevlar, which contracts as it heats, and the reason being so that we can make fan belts out of it.

  2. One good (not a reason, I guess, but a good result of this rule) I've seen is bodies of water would freeze from the bottom up.

    If water didn't start expanding as it reaches the freezing point, ice would be heavier than water. If that happened, bodies of water would freeze from the bottom up, most likely killing off everything that lived there.


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