PURPOSE: To demonstrate regelation.

DESCRIPTION: A thin wire with weights on the ends is looped over an ice cube. In a few minutes the wire will cut through the ice cube and the weights fall with a bang onto the stand. The ice re-freezes after the wire passes, leaving a single cube of ice.

SUGGESTIONS: There is a lot of discussion about whether this really demonstrates regelation. It seems clear from the literature (but disappointing) that regelation is not the cause of the ice being slippery when you ice skate. However, regelation apparently is a contributing cause for the motion of glaciers, as discussed in one of the references.

REFERENCES: (PIRA 4C20.30) For further information on this question see the Demonstration Reference File.

EQUIPMENT: Regelation stand, wires, weights and ice cube.

SETUP TIME: 5 min.

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