Liquid nitrogen helps add sweet touch to Physics event

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By Jana Samy 

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – Using liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze the mixture, an American University of Sharjah professor created ice cream treats for students in the Physics Building rotunda during the department’s March 2 biweekly experimental event.

Participants agreed the ice cream tasted delicious.

“The taste of the ice cream depends on factors such as the number of air bubbles and the size of ice crystals,” said Associate Professor of Physics Mehmet Egilmez, who helped dole out dishes of the dessert to about 70 students. He used common ice cream ingredients such as milk, sugar, and flavorings.  

According to Egilmez, the chemical process involved has other benefits.

“Liquid nitrogen helped quickly freeze the ice cream to avoid the growth of crystals,” he said. Therefore, it only took 15 minutes to create both chocolate and strawberry flavors.

According to Egilmez, the fast cooling process created “a fusion of Italian gelato and Turkish ice cream.” This mixture was achieved using less air and smaller ice crystals, making the ice cream smoother and creamier in texture.

Egilmez added that he has been “making ice cream using liquid nitrogen in different science festivals since 2001.” Later in 2014, he introduced this idea to AUS. They have been using it in traditional Physics open days and science-related events ever since.