Question

What happens to a closed can of coke when put in the freezer?

Asked by: Melanie

Answer

Normally, when something is cooled down it contracts and when it is heated it expands. Water on the other hand does exactly the opposite of this. It contracts when heated and expands when cooled. If you looked in the ingredients for soda, you would see that it is made of mostly water. That means that coke liquid in the can will expand when frozen. The can, already being pressurized from the carbon, may not take the pressure that is created when the water expands, and may explode.

Answered by: Nakul Jeirath, High School Student



From the answer above it looks like water constantly expands as it cools. However this is not true.

Water contracts (gets denser) as it cools down just like other materials. But at 4 degrees Celsius it reaches the max density and starts expanding as it is further cooled. This fact should not be ignored.



Answered by: Ertan Salik, M.A. Physics, USC

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