Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
“It’s because of the high thermal conductivity of the pole,” explains Frank J. DiSalvo, director of the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future and co-director of the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute. “The metal is a much better conductor than your tongue (up to 400 times more powerful). The metal takes heat faster than your body can replenish it.”
The atoms in solid metals are packed tightly and transfer thermal energy more readily. They also have free electrons that boost conductivity. Free electrons are free to move from atom to atom. The electrons absorb heat energy and move through the flagpole, stirring up other atoms.
As your tongue touches the flagpole, the moisture on your tongue is robbed of heat. The temperature of the moisture drops. Water freezes inside tiny pores and surface irregularities on your tongue and the pole. You’re stuck.
So now your thinking, “Maybe if I just pull hard it will come off.” Yes, it will — a piece of your tongue, that is.
- ▼ December (5)