A Conversation for Why We Slip On Ice
Why we slip on ice
Paul_Dennis Started conversation Jan 14, 2010
I'm sorry but the reason why we slip on ice has nothing to do with raising temperature when we load ice with the soles of our shoes. There are two important points to consider:
1) In the UK temperatures rarely fall far below 0 degrees Celsius so we are rarely very far from the phase boundary between water and ice.
2) an equivalent amount of water molecules occupies a smaller volume than the same amount of ice molecules.
This means that when we load the ice by pressing down with the soles of our shoes the ice is converted to water. The temperature does NOT rise.
Now if we consider, say, the ice in Greenland where the temperatures are very much colder we are less likely to slip. The reason for this is that now we are a long way from the phase boundary between ice and water and so we would need to exert very, very much higher pressures than is possible simply by standing on the ice.
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