Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Interesting Questions

In the past month, I got asked two extremely inquisitive questions by an elementary school kid. I paraphrase them for context and clarity.

1. The upper floor of a two-level house is warmer than the lower floor. In fact, I wrote about this question a long time ago. Warm air is lighter (from ideal gas law, for example) and floats above dense cold air.

Q: If that is so, then why does it get colder as we climb or drive up a tall mountain?

2. What is the temperature of a mixture of ice and water? Until all the ice melts, the "classic" answer is zero centigrade.

Q: If there are icebergs floating in the earths oceans, why isn't the temperature of the oceans equal to zero centigrade?

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