A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Physics in Action

Post 1

Pastey

A friend of mine recently filled up a range of water balloons and left them outside overnight to freeze, so that she could use them for outdoor decorations.

This is the result:

https://twitter.com/ladycrafthole/status/278803560492318720/photo/1


As you can see, all the balloons froze except the red one. They were all filled at the same time with water from the tap, and they were all left outside, in the same place, at the same time.

So, why didn't the red water balloon freeze?


Physics in Action

Post 2

Icy North

I reckon the butler was responsible.


Physics in Action

Post 3

Pastey

Thanks Icy, I knew we could rely on you for a detailed physics explanation. smiley - laugh


Physics in Action

Post 4

Gnomon

What colour were the other balloons? And how light (in brightness) were they? (I can't follow your link)


Physics in Action

Post 5

Pastey

A pink, light purple, green, blue, yellow and orange. All were quite light in colour.


Physics in Action

Post 6

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

As she left them outside 'overnight' - and I assume your nights are dark - I don't think the color had anything to do with it. Unless the specific color that was used did something to the structure of the rubber - maybe.


Physics in Action

Post 7

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

... did it not freeze at all or was it just not fully frozen?
And there's some frost on it, was it wet when it was put in the garden?


Physics in Action

Post 8

Pastey

She did them all at the same time, so if one was wet I'm guessing more would be.


Physics in Action

Post 9

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Maybe she spilled water on it while filling it but didn't do that with the others. But I may be completely wrong here. Frost/snow insulates but I'm not sure how much there has to be to make a difference.
Maybe the red one was the first she filled and the water was still warm from alst time the tap was used? That could also be a reason for the frost, I guess.


Physics in Action

Post 10

Pastey

Apparently the water warm when they were all filled, she doesn't think she spilled any.

She did some more balloons last night, and those that didn't freeze also had frost on them.


Physics in Action

Post 11

Orcus

red's hot innit smiley - winkeye


Physics in Action

Post 12

Whisky

There are a lot of variables...

The weight of the rubber in each balloon and the diameter of the balloon when inflated (meaning that the more you inflate the balloon the thinner the layer of rubber becomes - thus providing less insulation.

Are the chemicals used to colour the balloons all identical - could something be leaching into the water and acting as an anti-freeze?



Physics in Action

Post 13

Whisky

Oh, and...

>>>She did some more balloons last night, and those that didn't freeze also had frost on them.

Are we sure that this phrase hasn't gotten its cause and effect inversed?

Could it be possible that the frost itself is having an impact on the water inside and that the phrase should read...

"...those that had frost on them didn't freeze".


Physics in Action

Post 14

Magwitch - Community Editor, Moderator, Sub Editor and Scout - Are you reading The Post every week?

I'm going to buy some balloons today and experiment meself.


Physics in Action

Post 15

Pastey

Not sure if everyone can see the photo or not, I know Gnomon said he had difficulty in doing so.

The balloons all came from the same pack, so I'd assume that they're all the same except for the colouring. They were also all filled to the same size.


Physics in Action

Post 16

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

But they look like they have different sizes. Maybe the red one was leaking?


Physics in Action

Post 17

Pastey

It does look slightly smaller, but I think that might be an optical illusion.


Physics in Action

Post 18

swl - and the pigs said: We Will Be Happy, We Will Be Free

Maybe it's further away.


Physics in Action

Post 19

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Careful now

FB


Physics in Action

Post 20

Witty Moniker - Community Editor

Water expands when it freezes. Since the red balloon didn't freeze, it didn't expand.


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