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

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


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.

ProfHoff 597

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