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Heat of Freezing for Supercooled Water: Measurements at Atmospheric Pressure

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journal contribution
posted on 16.06.2011, 00:00 by Will Cantrell, Alexander Kostinski, Anthony Szedlak, Alexandria Johnson
Unlike reversible phase transitions, the amount of heat released upon freezing of a metastable supercooled liquid depends on the degree of supercooling. Although terrestrial supercooled water is ubiquitous and has implications for cloud dynamics and nucleation, measurements of its heat of freezing are scarce. We have performed calorimetric measurements of the heat released by freezing water at atmospheric pressure as a function of supercooling. Our measurements show that the heat of freezing can be considerably below one predicted from a reversible hydrostatic process. Our measurements also indicate that the state of the resulting ice is not fully specified by the final pressure and temperature; the ice is likely to be strained on a variety of scales, implying a higher vapor pressure. This would reduce the vapor gradient between supercooled water and ice in mixed phase atmospheric clouds.