Ripple effect

By Gabriel Popkin, 15:55 PM October 30, 2013

If you want ripples in your icicles, just add salt. This recipe comes from physicists reporting in the October New Journal of Physics. Antony Chen and Stephen Morris of the University of Toronto built a tabletop machine that allowed nearly ice-cold water to drip through a nozzle onto a slowly rotating support, where the water froze.

Distilled water produced an unrippled, carrot-shaped icicle. When the scientists added a pinch of sodium chloride, or table salt, regularly spaced ripples formed. ...

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