This Is What A Liquid's Triple Point Looks Like

Ralphie Aversa
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A new video with hundreds of thousands of views is educating those of us who aren't science enthusiasts on a term in thermodynamics.

In the clip, pressure is applied to a liquid in a large flask. The liquid transforms to a solid but then begins to boil while still appearing solid. Tom Enstone uploaded the video to YouTube on Sunday and asked, "The fluid simultaneously both boils and freezes? Would like some insight here ..."

Turns out Enstone discovered the unknown liquid's triple point. In thermodynamics, a liquid's triple point is the temperature and pressure at which the substance can co-exist as a liquid, gas, and solid. Triple points also can be seen in a single state; for example, a substance can have multiple solid states and a triple point at which it reaches three of those phases simultaneously.

Raresh Vlad Bunea, a YouTube user from Toronto, commented, "It's not often people outside a lab get to see what this looks like, because you need a vacuum pump and some chemistry kit to achieve it. But it is amazing to see a fluid freeze and bubble and look like still liquid all at the same time."

The video is simply titled "Science!" and it has amassed 250,000 views and about 1,300 likes. Enstone is a student at the University of Manchester majoring in physics.