Why does ice stick on your finger

Why does ice get stickier the colder it gets? [Duplicate]

It's really complex and Shep's answer is a little inaccurate.

Ice at temperatures just below freezing point has the remarkable property of not being frozen on the surface. There is an extremely thin layer of liquid water on the surface. How thin 70 nm at 272 K, but only 10 nm at 262 K. This layer of water can act as a lubricant, but with less lubricant the friction is higher.

So it is not the heat of your finger that is causing the layer of fluid. It's always there.

The second problem with Shep's answer is the idea of ​​re-freezing. It's unclear exactly what he means by this, but a heat wave is not like a wave in water. Heat will diffuse back. You don't get heat waves.

The aforementioned icy metal post is very effective in transferring heat. Metals behave quite well. In comparison, the ice cube does not conduct well and where it is melted, the conductivity is even lower.

Carl Witthoft

I can't resist to point out that you are damn good are and get heat waves when there is a pulsed heat source. Or when you add heat to a superfluid.


When it came to re-freezing, I only meant what you said; Heat will defuse, it's not a wave. If you touch a really cold ice cube, it will stick to your finger as the heat escapes into the cube at the point of contact. The effect is more pronounced with metal, since the heat is defused there faster, but also works on ice.


Here's a good animation: youtube.com/watch?v=twBcpxrWm5E The cold parts get warmer at first, but eventually the small swings reach equilibrium and the overall temperature drops (presumably because the outside is considered cold).