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Going Through a Phase

A high school Chemistry experiment made me curious then, but has been with me the rest of my life. It's a simple task: 

  1. Fill a glass beaker with ice

  2. Put it on a tripod with a bunsen burner underneath

  3. Stick a thermometer in and measure temperature over time

What would YOU expect to happen? 

Well, I'd expect the temperature to rise steadily from below freezing to boiling. But it doesn't! Instead it looks like the graph below:

Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius and boils at 100 degrees C. But at that melting and boiling point, you keep putting heat into the system and the temperature doesn't change - until all the ice is melted or all the water has been boiled. 

How does it work?

When ice melts it is going through a change in "phase" (from solid to liquid).

It is transforming in structure. The same happens when it goes from liquid phase to vapor (steam).

The energy going in at those points is being applied to the phase change at a molecular level.

It seems like nothing is happening on the outside (temperature) but on the inside major changes are under way.

What's the point?

During a period of transformation in life, it can seem like you're not making any progress. I don't care if it's learning a new language, writing a book, changing a job or relationship, or just growing older.

During those "in between" phases, you keep putting in energy but you feel like you're going sideways with no forward progress.

But then all of a sudden you do! The rest is in the rear view mirror.

You have to push through the phase of transformation.

What's your story?

When were you going through a time of transformation and perhaps didn't know it at the time?

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