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

Search

Loading






Science Quote

'In a way science is a key to the gates of heaven, and the same key opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to which is which gate. Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to enter the gates of heaven? Or shall we struggle with the problem of which is the best way to use the key?'

Richard Phillips Feynman
(1918-1988)

Top Selling

Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
CHEM C1000 Chemistry Kit v2.0
Tin Can Robot 4M Kit
Periscope
Potato Clock 4M Kit
3D Magnetic Field Tube
Revolving Multi-Color Fiberoptic Light
4M Kitchen Science Kit
Mini Plasma Ball
Top Secret - Spinning Top

Sponsors

USC University of Southern California Dornsife College Physics and Astronomy Department McMaster University Physics and Astronomy Department