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



Click here to get
a FREE ride with Uber!


Click here to
sign up for Birchbox






Science Quote

'The atomic bomb ... made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is different country.'

J. Robert Oppenheimer
(1904-1966)
Science Sidebar | Science Education Articles
10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Interested In Science

Young children are natural scientists: they ask questions, pick up sticks and bugs outside, and are curious about the world around them. But as they get a bit older, many kids gradually lose their interest in science. They might see it as just another task at school, something that doesn't apply to their lives. Of course nothing could be further from the truth, so here are ten ways you can remind your kids that science is everywhere. Most of these are fun for adults, too! Continue reading ...

Top Selling

Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
Deluxe Water Rocket Set
Mini Plasma Ball
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
3D Magnetic Field Tube
Alnico Bar Magnet - 6 inch Long
Scorpion, Ant, Wasp and Flower Bug
Solar Radiometer
Weather Station 4M Kit
Periscope
Cherry Wood Levitron

Sponsors

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