Another Round of Ice?
I go to the ends of the Internet earth to find interesting applications of mathematics. The "find" for this week is the spherical ice cube!
Why spherical? Think for a minute before continuing to read, as the reason involves only some elementary mathematics.
A spherical ice cube has a lower surfaceareatovolume ratio than a typical ice cube. And, this reduced surface size implies that the ice will melt at a slower rate...and thus keep whatever you are drinking from getting "watery" to fast.
Problem: Suppose you have a ice cube that is 1"x1"x1". First, determine the radius of a spherical ice cube with the same volume. Second, determine the surfaceareatovolume ratio for the two cubes. Third, is this ratio constant regardless of the dimensions of the original cube of ice?
So, the new question is...how does one create a spherical ice cube? I am assuming that you do not want to sit there and slowly shave a cube into a sphere!
A Japanese company has created a mold that produces a perfect ice sphere. A chunk of ice is placed in the metal press; as the ice chunk melts, the press closes around the ice and forms a ball. The mold comes in multiple sizes (55 mm, 65mm, 70 mm, and 80 mm) and makes 3040 ice spheres in an hour.
Or, you can buy spherical ice cube trays for about $15!
Source: Wired, July 2009, p. 55
