Physics - freezing tongue
posted by Mary .
I have read through my chapter and still don't understand why your tongue sticks to a freezing metal pole. The question is, why doesn't your tongue freeze to wood at the same temp it will freeze to metal? I know that wood is a better insulator, but am not sure how that fits into the picture. thanks!
To freeze your tongue, heat has to be conducted away from it to the cold object that it is touching. If the object is an insulator (like wood), most heat remains in the tongue and the moisture on it does not freeze, as it would if it touched metal.
The tongue does cool down if it touches a thermal insulator, but not as much.
So the water on the tongue freezing to ice as the heat in it is conducted away from the tongue is what sticks it together! So if there was no moisture on the tongue it wouldn't stick to the metal. Thanks! :-) M