Why Does Alcohol Not Freeze?

Well, thats not exactly true. Alcohol does freeze, but our refrigerators don’t have the umph to do what it takes. Lets take a closer look at alcohol.

In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom. There are many types of alcohols and many uses for them. For example, methanol is a type of alcohol found in your car’s antifreeze, ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and isopropyl alcohol is a type of alcohol found inhand sanitizers like Purell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freezing points of different substances are influenced by the strengths of intermolecular bonds. The stronger the forces between molecules, the more easily the substance will freeze, i.e. the substance will freeze at a higher temperature. So for example, water forms four very strong Hydrogen bonds between four other water molecules. Therefore, it freezes at a relatively high temperature of 34 °F (0 °C). On the other hand, alcohol has weak intermolecular forces because it only forms one hydrogen bond with other molecules and as a result freezes at a very low temperature -174.6 °F (-114.7 °C).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exact freezing point of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey and other liqueurs is dependent on their proof, or alcohol per volume. The lower the proof, the warmer the freezing point: the higher the proof, the colder the freezing point. As a result of this, beers and other low proof beverages could freeze more easily.

Since most household refrigerators are kept between -10 and 0 °F (-23 and -18 °C), we never get to see frozen alcohol. So next time someone asks you why alcohol cant freeze, impress them.

What do you guys think? Do you like this? How about a question you would like me to answer for next week’s blog.

Sources Used-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator

http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/wms-alcohol-freezing/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol

http://cocktails.about.com/od/mixology/f/alcohol_freeze.htm

Why Is The Sky Blue?

Logos

To understand why the sky is blue, we first have to understand the composition of the the atmosphere. The atmosphere is mostly made up of nitrogen gas (78%), oxygen gas (21%) and small amounts of many other gases. In addition to the gases, the atmosphere has dust particles, pollen from flowers, evaporated salt from the oceans, and ashes and soot from incompletely burned organic matter. Near the ocean or after a rainstorm there may be more particles of water in the air. Pollution can add a variety of gasses, dust and soot to the atmosphere as well.

Now that we understand what our atmosphere is made up of, we have to take a better look at light particles (pun!). Light particles, or photons, are particles that travel in motions of waves. These light waves are vibrating electric and magnetic fields. Visible light is only a small part of what we call the electromagnetic spectrum. We classify light based on three characteristics: Wavelength, Amplitude, and Frequency. Wavelength is the distance between the tops (crests) of waves. Frequency is the number of waves that pass by each second. And Amplitude is the height of the waves.

When light travels through space, it travels in a straight line. As light enters Earth’s atmosphere, it comes into contact with dust particles and gas molecules and other components of the atmosphere that we discussed earlier. Dust particles and water droplets are much larger than the wavelength of visible light so when light hits these, it is either reflected and bounces off or refracted and breaks up into the many colors of the visible light spectrum (Rainbow!!). Gas molecules, unlike water droplets and dust, are much smaller and behave differently when photons hit them. When light hits a gas molecule, some of the light will be absorbed by the molecule. The light that is absorbed most frequently is the higher frequency blues, more so than the lower frequency reds. After some time, the gas molecule radiates (releases) the same light that it absorbed (most likely the higher frequency blue). The absorbed blue light is radiated in all different directions in the sky. Most of this blue light reaches us here on the land and as a result we see the sky as blue. 

Ethos

After taking basic chemistry courses, I can say that the theory that light being radiated by gas molecules is possible because as a photon hits a gas molecule, it excites the electrons in the outermost layer of its electron cloud and the electron is kicked up an energy level. As we all know, the universe is trying to achieve minimum energy to become more stable. As a result, the electron in its excited state falls back down to it normal shell, and releases energy in the form of light. Which is what we see.

Pathos

The sky is blue because it makes us all feel better about ourselves. The blue color of the sky gives me a warm fuzzy feeling every time I look at it. It makes me feel better about my day and it makes me feel like I’m in a warm place. When the sky is not blue, I get emotional and sometimes I cry.

What do you guys think? Do you like this? How about a question you would like me to answer for next weeks blog.

Sources Used-

http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/sky.htm

http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/blue-sky/

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/sky_blue.html