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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Why Salt Melts Ice

General Chemistry Online: FAQ: Solutions: Why does salt melt ice? Or go here if you'd like to read the same answer with more and bigger words, and with equations.

I look at it like this: at 0°C, water and ice in contact with each other have a reciprocal relationship which seeks to maintain a balance; they keep trading molecules back and forth, but the total number of molecules in the exchange remains the same. Adding salt or another substance to the water lessens the number of its molecules in contact with the ice, so ice begins to give up more molecules to maintain the balance — to put it another way, water gets selfish and begins to hang on to what it already has while continuing to take selfishly from ice (kind of like the way America trades with the rest of the world). Result: ice melts and becomes water.


Anonymous said...

what do you have against the americans jeez you could have said in a nicer way

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

what's your problem