Water Drop Freezing: Ejection of Microdroplets

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Science  25 Dec 1970:
Vol. 170, Issue 3965, pp. 1395-1396
DOI: 10.1126/science.170.3965.1395


The ejection of microdroplets from the surface of a freezing supercooled water drop has been observed and photographed. The fragmentation of a freezing drop in the forms of splintering, shattering, or bursting has been known for some time. This newly observed phenomenon of the ejection of numerous microdroplets, the duration of their ejection, and the electrical properties of these droplets suggest a possible mechanism of charge generation in thunderstorms.