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Andrew Marmery from The Royal Institution in London experiments with argon ice in the video below, including some intriguing comments on argon’s atomic weight, and which shows how quickly argon shifts from solid to gas (it melts at −189.35 °C, and evaporates at −185.85 °C, so in less than 4 degrees Celsius it shifts through all three phases!).

With the nor’easter Nemo having passed through town overnight, I’m reminded to be happy that snow isn’t constituted from solid argon, otherwise that would mean it’s really cold outside.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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Comments

  1. the only question the internet has for that is: can you fire a bullet of argon-ice or not?

    1. Nick Normal says:

      I’m sure someone somewhere is working on it.

  2. YouTube clearly is the world leader in s***ty captions…nothing but drivel came out in this articale..who the hell does the checking on the captions here??

    1. Nick Normal says:

      Do you mean the Closed Captions on the video itself? Those are maintained by YouTube.

      1. What’s really annoying is that the RiChannel (home for these videos) usually has a full searchable transcript compiled by proper humans, as it does for this film: http://richannel.org/collections/2011/tales-from-the-prep-room#/tales-from-the-prep-room-argon-ice

        …but as far as I’m aware there’s no way of transferring that transcript to the YouTube version of the film.

    2. Dede says:

      Haha, pal, those are automatically generated captions, they are quite impressive if you think that they are generated solely using the audio from the video!

  3. Can we make colored ice out of this process? Process of melting looks awesome.

    1. Nick Normal says:

      By the time you say “melt” it’s gone!

      1. ok but there must be some way of coloring it!

  4. D.C. Robie says:

    Why is the upper surface of the solid argon a concave cone? Perhaps this has to do with the forces between the argon and the glass. Does liquid argon wet glass? If you use a metal tube to make the solid argon, does it still have the conical upper surface?

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