Is there a scientific way of estimating how much time a given mass of ice will take to melt in a controlled ambient temperature?
Well of course there is. The expression is dependent on three variables:
The first variable is dependent on the type of material you wish to melt, and is called the heat of fusion 'L'. For ice, L is = 335 kJ/kg.
The next variable is the mass 'm' of the material you wish to melt measured in kg.
The last variable is the effect 'p' at which heat is transferred to the material, measured in watt (W).
Now lets try an example. If I wish to determine how much time 't' it will take to melt two kilos of ice on a stow at 1000 W, i will have to use the following expression:
t = Lï¿½m / p
t = 335000 J/kg ï¿½ 2 kg / 1000 W
t = 670 seconds = 11.2 minutes.
This example is, of course, 100% theoretical and does probably not apply to reality.
Lars Krebs, Student, Aalborg Technical Collage, Denmark
'One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have.'