Why does being cold cause shrinkage?

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  1. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 6 years ago

    Why does being cold cause shrinkage?

    I've always wondered this do you know why?

  2. rahul0324 profile image83
    rahul0324posted 6 years ago

    The answer to this peeples is scientific to the molecular level.... You know everything is made of molecules.... and they oscillate about their position.. randomly... this is called Brownian movement!

    Now when we heat some stuff.... the heat microscopically transfers to the molecules and they gain kinetic or dynamic energy and start moving more vigorously, thus creating an expansion... viewed on the macroscopic level... you can relate this to melting of ice...

    Now cooling is just the opposite process.... when something is allowed to cool... it gains more potential energy and loses kinetic energy thus the molecules lose vigor... and shrinkage happens... as in freezing of water into ice

  3. Curiad profile image76
    Curiadposted 6 years ago

    I assume you are thinking of water and Ice. They are the same thing but at different temperatures. Above 32 degrees F you will have a liquid, below 32 degrees F you have a solid. As you reduce the temperature of the liquid the molecules slow down and as they do so they take less space because they are bouncing against each other less and at a lower rate. At 32 degrees F you have a solid which now takes less space that the same molecules in a liquid state.

    Absolute zero is the theoretical point that all molecular activity stops. Humans have never accomplished this state but have come close. I believe this point is -297 degrees F

  4. Allen Williams profile image82
    Allen Williamsposted 6 years ago

    Your question may or may not have to do with science.  My first thought was that your question had to do with a man getting out of a cold shower or a swimming pool.  The answer is simple, it does not like the cold.  It would prefer being in a nice warm place like snuggling up against a nice warm,... well something warm.  That is when it is feeling it's best and is happy with it's environment so it is proud to stand up and let everyone know it is happy. If this was not your question, I am sorry that I cold not answer it scientifically.  I am not that smart. wink

  5. MilesArmbruster profile image60
    MilesArmbrusterposted 6 years ago

    It is interesting, of course, that water actually expands when it is frozen (check your ice-cube tray.) Whereas it is true that removing energy from atoms and molecules slow them down so that they are able to pack tighter and hence, shrink; when you freeze water, the air dissolved in the water forms bubbles and the frozen product, ice, is larger than the volume of the original water. What everyone has said is essentially true, but water is a bad example to choose to prove it. A couple vivid examples: large bridges have expansion points that look like long rows of saw teeth. As the concrete heats and cools, these expansion points open and close. This removes the stress from the concrete so that it doesn't break itself up. The supersonic Concorde, no longer in service, at its top speed was so hot that it actually stretched by 18 inches. Gases demonstrate this more easily than solids and liquids. If you take an empty milk jug and put in it a couple of cups of really hot water, then shake it around, the jug will be filled with hot gas. Pour out the water and put the lid back on and you will see that as the jug cools, it will crunch in because the molecules have cooled, they are closer together, and therefore produce less pressure. (Or to keep with the size theme of the question, the pressure inside the jug, when it is equalized to the outside pressure, takes up less space.)


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