activity

Do all frozen things feel equally cold? Melt your mind with this surprising sensory experiment.

safety
  • No safety considerations
difficulty
  • Beginner
time
  • 5 minutes
  • (plus 4+ hours freezing time before you begin the experiment)

Prepare Ingredients

1 per person
ice cube
2 tablespoons per person
butter

Gather Equipment

2 per person
zipper-lock bags
1
 
1 per person
ice cube
2 tablespoons per person
butter

At least 4 hours before you want to do this experiment, place an ice cube in a zipper-lock bag, seal the bag (remove as much air as possible), and put the bag in the freezer. Place a 2-tablespoon piece of butter in a second zipper-lock bag, seal the bag (remove as much air as possible), and place that bag in the freezer, too.

Chill Out: Prepping Experiment

 
2
 

Wait at least 4 hours to make sure the butter is fully frozen. While you’re waiting, make a prediction: When you take the ice cube and butter out of the freezer and hold them in your hands:

  • Will the butter feel colder than the ice cube?
  • Will the ice cube feel colder than the butter?
  • Or will they feel the same?
 
3
 

After at least 4 hours, take the bags out of the freezer. Keeping them in their bags, hold the ice cube in one hand and the frozen butter in the other hand for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Does one feel colder than the other, or do they feel the same? Why do you think this is?