Debunked: Orgone Ice Stalagmites and Spikes

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Sometimes when you make ice cubes in the freezer, you get odd spikes on top of the ice:



This does not happen all the time, and many people will never see this. It depends on what's in your water, the temperature of your freezer, and if there's a fan in the freezer. They form most frequently with distilled water, and not very often with regular tap water.

Caltech's SnowCrystals.com page has an explanation as to why they form:

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/icespikes/icespikes.htm
And here's a schematic diagram:



Fascinating stuff. But what really got me interested was the claim made at Orgone Innovations (a site that sells "personal orgone generators", aka POGs), that you could create these stalagmites simply by placing a "POG" on top of the freezer. Note that the POG is not some kind of machine. It sounds a bit like an ozone generator, but really it's just a bunch of cheap beads, crystals and wire encased in resin - a pretty paperweight. And it's not place IN the freezer, where you might think it could have an effect, but instead is placed OUTSIDE the freezer, where any effect is going to be something entirely new to science.

Here's their explanation and schematic of what they think is going on. Compare to the one above:

http://orgoneinnovations.com/?q=ice-stalagmites

mod add: cached version https://web.archive.org/web/20120503204828/http://orgoneinnovations.com/?q=ice-stalagmites


Does it work? No.

Have I tried it, to verify it does not work? No.

So how can I claim it does not work, if I've never tried it? I know it does not work because nobody has ever demonstrated that it works. If it did work, then it would revolutionize physics. It's a discovery more than worthy of a Nobel Prize. But nobody has ever demonstrated that it works. Sure, people have put distilled water in a freezer, and put the POG on top, and two hours later stalagmites formed, but they would have formed anyway - it's distilled water!. They need to take the extra step of trying it without the POG, and verifying that nothing happened, then with the POG again. They need to do this about ten times both with and without the POG, using the same tray and water. Then document what happens, and collect your Nobel prize.
 

Nighthawk

New Member
Water in a freezer can be fun. I like to take bottled water and put it in the freezer over night. In the morning it is still liquid (unfrozen) and when it is disturbed it almost instantly freezes. The kids think this is the coolest thing.

I do have a question about this distilled water spike. With the above thing about the bottled water, why doesn't the same happen with the distilled water in the ice cube tray? Distilled water is supposed to be pure so there should be nothing for the ice crystals to form around (nucleation) correct? Just wondering.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I do have a question about this distilled water spike. With the above thing about the bottled water, why doesn't the same happen with the distilled water in the ice cube tray? Distilled water is supposed to be pure so there should be nothing for the ice crystals to form around (nucleation) correct? Just wondering.

Ice cubes are exposed to freezing air, so there's a very different process going on if you compare it to the bottle of water.

The bottle is cooled from all sides, and gradually through insulating plastic, without any air movement. The ice cube has evaporation/condensation/freezing/precipitation at the direct interface of the warm water and -20c air. Plenty of opportunity for nucleation.

It will freeze at the edge first as the meniscus effect reduces surface tension, leading to greater evaporation, etc.
 

Nighthawk

New Member
Ice cubes are exposed to freezing air, so there's a very different process going on if you compare it to the bottle of water.

The bottle is cooled from all sides, and gradually through insulating plastic, without any air movement. The ice cube has evaporation/condensation/freezing/precipitation at the direct interface of the warm water and -20c air. Plenty of opportunity for nucleation.

It will freeze at the edge first as the meniscus effect reduces surface tension, leading to greater evaporation, etc.

That's kinda what I was thinking, but wasn't sure.

I wonder if the chemtrail believers realize that the processes that cause ice cubes to freeze, form those spikes or even the bottled water thing is the same as what causes contrails to form, linger for hours or spread?

Nah, I guess if they did they would know that what they see are really just contrails.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Water freezing (and other phase changes) is rather tricky to get a full grasp of. We are brought up with a very simply model - that water freezes at 0C/32F, and that it boils at at 100C/212F. The actual underlying model mechanism - the movement and forces between molecules - is almost never something people learn about (or at least remember). So we get stuck with this very simplistic model of how water works, and kind of shoehorn what we see into that.

Many people will just reject the idea that water can be solid, liquid, or gas at temperatures well below freezing, and well above boiling.

It's when people venture out of their boundaries of comprehension without realizing it that we get problems.
 

firepilot

Senior Member.
Water freezing (and other phase changes) is rather tricky to get a full grasp of. We are brought up with a very simply model - that water freezes at 0C/32F, and that it boils at at 100C/212F. The actual underlying model mechanism - the movement and forces between molecules - is almost never something people learn about (or at least remember). So we get stuck with this very simplistic model of how water works, and kind of shoehorn what we see into that.

Many people will just reject the idea that water can be solid, liquid, or gas at temperatures well below freezing, and well above boiling.

It when people venture out of their boundaries of comprehension without realizing it that we get problems.

Yes, we are given a vastly oversimplified version of it.

0C/32c is not the freezing temp, its the melting temperature of ice. If water always froze at 0c, we would not have aircraft structural icing.
But since water can easily be in a supercooled liquid state (esp around -5 to -12c) of small droplets, when those droplets hit something, like an aircraft for example, they then freeze on impact.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
And the idea that steam can exist at -40 is also a little perplexing, as people think of steam as the stuff that comes out of a kettle, or is inside a sauna. Technically you are surrounded by steam right now. But the common usage of the word "steam" confuses the matter.

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

[/h]
 

lotek

Active Member
Image02252011014818.jpgImage02252011014802.jpg

HA! i have a few pictures of this from about 6 years ago. i saw it, looked it up, about 15min later was a good bit more educated in the physics of freezing water, then at the very end i found a link about orgone and that was the first id heard of it. much wiki followed and it was a hillarious 2hrs of laughable reading.

the science is just so damn obvious here, and its so easy and cheap to test. if you are freezing cubes on a macro scale its not all too rare. $60usd mini freezer off craigslist, $10usd for 40 ice cube trays, $x for water and electricity under 20 id bet, and thats it.

freeze 20,000cubes with no orgone device, count the number of spikes.
freeze 20,000cubes with the orgone device, count number of spikes.

then the extra bit of proof would be to:

freeze 20,000cubes with an "orgone blocking device" or similar, something accepted as rational by the orgone community to decrease formation, count the spikes
freeze 20,000cubes with alterations to the scientific variables leaning to more spike production. measurable things, free air%, temps, air flow, RH, etc, count the spikes.

now this would be a huge waste of time, but id bet you the first 3 tests would all be same within a margin of error, and only test 4 would show any difference. this would have the side effect of showing an orgone believer, in their own 'science'/logic, that even using their equipment, even if its 100%real, there is no alteration, just to add a lil extra context for them.

this would take no more than 4 months at a leisurely pace and cost less than 100 bucks.

update, got my pics up.
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
The link in the OP is (mostly) a dead webpage now as far as I can ascertain. Is there a different website with a similar POG? Assuming they are not too cost prohibitive I have an hypothesis and experiment to test.
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
i added the cached page to the OP. pics arent there but the text is.
https://web.archive.org/web/20120503204828/http://orgoneinnovations.com/?q=ice-stalagmites

Cheers.

At work I have several freezers running at various temperatures for climate sensitive material (-10C, -20C, -40C and -80C!!!). I also have access there to many different types of water, RO, distilled, mili-q, salt controlled, PBS, regular tap water (which can be quite hard) etc etc. I have a goPro and could sort out a light source. I was thinking to have a labelled ice cube tray of each, and do a time-lapse with the goPro inside the freezer with a digital thermometer being in shot showing the temp (probably not with the -80C as I think that would be out of the cameras operating specs), and record the observable differences between the different types of H20.

The experiment could then be repeated if needed using a POG/crystal.

Worth my time? Probably not. Publishable paper worthy? Probably haha.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Cheers.

At work I have several freezers running at various temperatures for climate sensitive material (-10C, -20C, -40C and -80C!!!). I also have access there to many different types of water, RO, distilled, mili-q, salt controlled, PBS, regular tap water (which can be quite hard) etc etc. I have a goPro and could sort out a light source. I was thinking to have a labelled ice cube tray of each, and do a time-lapse with the goPro inside the freezer with a digital thermometer being in shot showing the temp (probably not with the -80C as I think that would be out of the cameras operating specs), and record the observable differences between the different types of H20.

The experiment could then be repeated if needed using a POG/crystal.

Worth my time? Probably not. Publishable paper worthy? Probably haha.

Three words...

Ig
Nobel
Prize

http://www.improbable.com/ig/
 

Balance

Senior Member.
Worth my time?

I suspect, as in Mick's experiment, the camera will malfunction when frozen. Not only does the cold sap a battery's capacity but electronics can also fail outside a specific temperature range, not to mention the danger of condensation moisture and ice causing short-circuits. Perhaps some insulation would suffice?


mod edit: added hyperlink to Micks experiment. Post #21 then skip to post #31 for 'dead battery' post.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
I suspect, as in Mick's experiment, the camera will malfunction when frozen. Not only does the cold sap a battery's capacity but electronics can also fail outside a specific temperature range, not to mention the danger of condensation moisture and ice causing short-circuits. Perhaps some insulation would suffice?


mod edit: added hyperlink to Micks experiment. Post #21 then skip to post #31 for 'dead battery' post.

Apparently the GoPro has a heating system built in to warm the battery
 

Balance

Senior Member.
Apparently the GoPro has a heating system built in to warm the battery

As we know, eletrical energy by-produces heat, so effectively all devices have "warmers" (marketing spin?) which is why I suggest insulation. Here's what GoPro say about the HERO HD https://gopro.com/support/articles/hot-cold-operating-temperatures-camera I assume other models of camera will also vary in performance.

I'm all for doing the experiments, just want to raise some issues that might cause failure or abandonment to save wasting their time. Condensation would concern me more as that could accelerate corrosion as well as short-circuits. Another possible problemcould be lens fogging which GoPro sell a special lens inserts to mitigate. http://gopro.com/help/articles/How_To/How-to-Prevent-the-Lens-from-Fogging-During-Filming
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
image.jpeg image.jpeg Experiment 1

I've just set this up (in between real work). 4x samples each of 6 different "waters". Put them into the freezer (~1:15pm, 1st of Feb) and I'll check when I finish, but also leave it in the freezer overnight. The digital temp is at -14 but I had the door open for a while and it will normalise back to -20 (+/- 4 degrees).

I used 9mL of liquid for each spot, using a pipette so each has the same volume. I tried 10mL to begin with, but annoyingly that would overflow each cell.

The ice tray was sterilised under UV light for 20mins too :p

The 6 waters are:

- Regular Adelaide tap water
- RO (reverse osmosis) water
- Molecular Grade water (aka super ultra pure)
- PBS (saline, isotonic)
- Guanidinium Thiocyanate (protein denaturing, you wouldn't drink it)
- drinking water (ie water cooler)

No orgonite is in the freezer, in the building (as far as I know) :p

Interesting to see how it freezes!!

Edit: Mods, wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the other thread, so feel free to move it to the other if that's where it belongs
 
Last edited:

Auldy

Senior Member.
I suspect, as in Mick's experiment, the camera will malfunction when frozen. Not only does the cold sap a battery's capacity but electronics can also fail outside a specific temperature range, not to mention the danger of condensation moisture and ice causing short-circuits. Perhaps some insulation would suffice?


mod edit: added hyperlink to Micks experiment. Post #21 then skip to post #31 for 'dead battery' post.

Missed this sorry.

I've used my GoPro a lot in the snow, boarding down slopes for ages and ages (Queenstown, New Zealand, seriously go there, amazing place) and I'm quietly confident that it will last quite a while on time lapse mode, especially if i set the intervals at 1min+.

Either way it's a lot of stuffing around, so I've set up the above experiment first

Edit: I think I stopped getting notifications when the thread was split, all good now
 

Galan

New Member
A question to which I can't find a google answer.

Give a radioactive source placed near a water sample that is being frozen. Would the radiation effect the crystal formation in any interesting way.

Apology if this is off topic.
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
A question to which I can't find a google answer.

Give a radioactive source placed near a water sample that is being frozen. Would the radiation effect the crystal formation in any interesting way.

Apology if this is off topic.

One for @Auldy Any plutonium lying around the lab you could test this with?
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
So, none of my ice cubes had spikes! But, re-reading the caltech link in the OP I have an idea why. I think the -20C freezer is too cold, as is suggested by the graphs in the OP link.



-7C is the optimum ice spike temp in the work already done. In my haste to set up my trial I didnt pay attention to this detail. I have the original ice tray with water thawing out in a fridge so I can repeat the exp at a better temperature. Stay tuned.



 

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Auldy

Senior Member.
And actually reading the caltech paper reveals a bit more of the methodology and equipment used

 

txt29

Senior Member.
Looks interesting, but unfortunately the photos seem to be rather crappy, and I cannot recognize anything there. I can only recognize different colors/shades of various types of ice. Are there any spikes there? Or perhaps I had just some false ideas about the shape

Edit: ah, I probably had just some excessive expectations. I was looking forward to spikes around a centimeter long, some beautiful "stalagmites", but it looks like they are just some irregularities no more than a mm tall. Visually a bit disappointing, but still quite interesting.
 
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txt29

Senior Member.
50µm * 600 that would give 30mm tall spikes. I am sorry, but I really cannot see them on the photos. Could you perhaps post a better photo?
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
Looks interesting, but unfortunately the photos seem to be rather crappy, and I cannot recognize anything there. I can only recognize different colors/shades of various types of ice. Are there any spikes there? Or perhaps I had just some false ideas about the shape

Edit: ah, I probably had just some excessive expectations. I was looking forward to spikes around a centimeter long, some beautiful "stalagmites", but it looks like they are just some irregularities no more than a mm tall. Visually a bit disappointing, but still quite interesting.

I did say there were no spikes, probably due to the temp. Maybe re-read the posts :p
 

txt29

Senior Member.
Ah, sorry, I thought they were photos already from the second run, since you posted them later below your comment about starting it :)
 
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