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Going Through a Phase

June 20, 2016

 

A high school Chemistry experiment made me curious then, but has haunted me for the rest of my life. It was a simple task: 

 

1) Fill a glass beaker with ice

2) Put it on a tripod wth 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 freezing and boiling point, you can 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. 

 

Why?

 

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). So 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?

 

1) 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 can feel like you're going sideways with no forward progress. But then all of a sudden you do and the rest is in the rear view mirror.

 

2) It's really hard to know when you're IN a period of phase change. You can imagine - you're "molecules" are literally being reorganized. Imagine a being a caterpillar one day and being a butterfly another? What does it feel like in the middle of that change? I don't know about you, but I really CANNOT imagine!

 

So no wonder it's disorienting when we go through change. 

 

What's your story?

 

When were you going through change and didn't know it?

How can you embrace that understanding going forward so you can blast through transformation versus linger longer in it by resisting in "not knowing?"

 

Talk to me! 

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