WADE BABINEAU EDITORIAL CARTOON: Saturday, March 28, 2020
CINDY DAY: MMM...marvellous maple
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The ups and downs of our wildly fluctuating temperatures had us dealing with more than our share of ice last week – it fell from the sky, coated trees, froze underfoot and made walking treacherous.
The weather roller coaster has yet to leave the station but when it does, I’ve got something very cool for you to try.
A few days ago, I received a photo of something frozen that trumps all the ice we had to deal with late last week. Connor Bourgeois, a very clever 13-year-old from Howie Centre, N.S., spent a cold afternoon creating a stunning ice bubble with his grandfather.
Believe it or not, with a little patience, the right weather and a few ingredients you probably already have at home, you could create one, too!
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 tbsp of corn syrup
- 2 tbsp of liquid dish soap
- 2 tbsp of white sugar
- 1 plastic straw
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and put it in the freezer; after about 30 minutes, take it out and give it a good stir.
You’ll need a cold surface on which to land your bubbles. You can do this outside on a very cold day, in an area sheltered from the wind or you can put a cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours before you begin and try to land the bubbles on the frozen surface.
Now you’re set! Don’t be too disappointed if many of your bubbles burst, it does take some patience!
As is so often the case with nature’s beauty, there’s a nice science lesson here… Every bubble is made up of three layers: a thin layer of water molecules squished between two layers of soapy water. It might look like the entire surface of the bubble is freezing, but only that soapy middle layer is! The water freezes at a warmer temperature than the soapy water, so it turns to ice inside the soapy film. These beauties don’t last long. As ice crystals form on the bubble’s surface, tiny cracks appear allowing the air that’s trapped inside to escape. As the air seeps out, the pressure drops and that drop in internal pressure causes the bubble to implode!
Science can be lots of fun. Good luck!
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network