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How does a waterfall freeze? © Getty Images

How does a waterfall freeze?

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When water falls so fast, have you ever wondered how it finds the time to turn to ice?

Asked by: Tina Hanson, Littlehampton

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Water turns to ice when its molecules move slowly enough to form rigid bonds. Normally, the molecules in the waterfall move under the influence of both the flow and thermal agitation. But if it gets cold enough, the heat effect becomes so low that not even the waterfall’s motion can stop ice forming, gradually at first but then ever more rapidly.


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Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

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