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A diagram of a cryophorus showing water evaporating from the left bulb and condensing and freezing in the right bulb.

A cryophorus is a glass container containing liquid water and water vapor. It is used in physics courses to demonstrate rapid freezing by evaporation. A typical cryophorus has a bulb at one end connected to a tube of the same material. When the liquid water is manipulated into the bulbed end and the other end is submerged into a freezing mixture (such as liquid nitrogen), the gas pressure drops as it is cooled. The liquid water begins to evaporate, producing more water vapor. Evaporation causes the water to cool rapidly to its freezing point and it solidifies suddenly.


The cryophorus was first described by William Hyde Wollaston in an 1811 paper titled, "On a method of freezing at a distance."[1][2]


  1. ^ Wollaston, William Hyde (1813). "On a Method of Freezing at a Distance". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 103: 71 74. JSTOR 107389. doi:10.1098/rstl.1813.0010. 
  2. ^ "William Hyde Wollaston" Archived 2008-01-04 at the Wayback Machine., Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th Edition, 1911

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