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Name: Khoa C.
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2003


Question:
What happens to the potential and kinetic energy of ice as it melts?


Replies:
Khoa,

The kinetic energy (energy of motion) of the atoms and molecules in the surrounding material -- at first air, then water as melting progresses -- is transferred from the surroundings to the ice in order to dismantle the ice latticework. Thus, particles in the surroundings lose a little of their KE in proportion to that gained by the molecules in the melting ice.

Potential energy (energy of position in a gravitational field) does not change unless (for example) the ice is atop a table and the melt-water runs off to the floor.

Regards,
ProfHoff 597



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