Analysis of ripples on icicles grown from polyehylene glycol solutions

Analysis of ripples
on icicles grown from
polyethylene glycol solutions

M.Sc. report, Unpublished, Oct. 2015.

Jake R. C. Wells

Department of Physics, University of Toronto,
60 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A7.

The aim of this thesis work is to observe how ripple patterns which form on icicles change as the molecular weight and concentration of their constituents are varied. Icicle ripple wavelengths and amplitudes are calculated from images taken from icicles grown from various solutions of distilled water and varying concentrations of solutes. This data is used to determine the behaviour of the formation and properties of icicle ripples when the concentrations and molecular weights of the solvents in the water used to grow them changes.

Icicles were grown using the tabletop apparatus built by a previous student, and modified to grow icicles along a long stick to provide more useable data along the uniform radius of the stick. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) solutions of varying molecular weights and concentrations were used to explore icicle ripples in this space. These icicles were grown under previously established conditions for icicle growth determined by previous students. Using Matlab routines to analyze the data, we obtain and discuss information pertaining to the ripples which form on icicles which contain solvents such as the PEG used in this study.


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