Common sense, right? The molecules move faster when they are warm and can't retain their rigid structure.
It's all true, and David van der Spoel, a computational chemist at Uppsala University in Sweden, said his team's computerized model shows that frozen water molecules, when heated up, vibrate until they start to spin. The swiveling motion causes particles bump into neighboring molecules and start a chain reaction of melting.
The computer simulation shows what happens in real time, fractions of picoseconds. The computer can model what happens on an atomic level, something that can't be directly observed in experiments.
"Van der Spoel said studying melting ice may seen inane, but noted that detailed models of basic processes are crucial for life sciences, chemistry and materials science."
Follow the link provided to see a video.
from Live Science, "Inside Look at How Ice Melts", by Dave Mosher, Jan 9, 2008
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