A crowdsource experiment to document the observer effect of quantum mechanics by influencing the probability of ice tray spike formation.

My name is Efrain Palermo and I have been studying the observer effect in ice tray spikes for over ten years. Recently, I proved to myself (and to others) that this phenonmenon can occur beyond any statistical doubt and that other people could also create this effect. I have come to the conclusion that this is a real, objective event which can be tested and duplicated. I am asking the public's help to take part in an experiment to gather a database to encourage scientists to take a serious look at what could be macrocosmic proof of the observer effect in quantum mechanics - and all you have to do is fill your ice tray.

What Are Ice Spikes?:

Ice spikes are a rare, natural occurrence in nature or in your ice tray due to the physics of freeezing water. Most people have never seen one, but I have documented evidence that when one becomes aware of (observes) the possibility of its occurrence, it increases the probability of their occurrence. Furthermore, once one became aware of it, it reoccurred at a statistically higher rate than could be accounted for by coincidence.

Working Hypothesis:

My theory is that the conditions for ice spike formation rely on many physical factors, i.e.; the type of water, freezer temperature, humidity, water contaminants, etc., which even under laboaratory conditions are difficult to produce. I believe there is a delicate balance in the molecular (or atomic/subatomic?) level and the probability is very low that a spike will occur naturally. Through my observation and testing I've discovered that one can tip this 'quantum balance' in favor of ice spike formation simply by being aware of it.

The Observer Effect:

The observer effect was discovered when scientists attempted to measure (observe) the strange behavior of electrons when confronted by a double slit. On its own, the electron acted as a wave and created an interference pattern on a screen. However, when scientists recorded the electron before it entered the slit, the electron created a pattern associated with particles instead of a wave. (See double slit experiment.) This effect is evident on an extremely microscopic scale, but what if the ice spike effect is an amplification of

Schrödinger's Cat:

In the thought experiment created by Erwin Schrödinger, a cat in a sealed box could be dead or alive depending on whether or not a decaying radiocative particle set off a poisonous gas. Since one could not know the outcome unless the box was opened, the cat could be considered to be both alive and dead at the same time, but when you open the box you collapse the wave function and now the cat is either alive or dead. Ice spikes could be in this state, a spike could occur or not at the same time, but when you look at it (open the box) you increase the possibility of a spike occuring. (Note: This is not to say that spikes only occur if one observes it, only that you increase the probability of it's occurrence.)



I first became aware of this over ten years ago when my girlfriend at the time found one in her freezer. We noted that neither one of us had seen one before. Ice spikes are very distinctine and is not something one would miss or discount as an everyday phenonmenon. A week later to my surprise I saw an ice spike in my freezer. We talked about how strange the coincidence was, one manifested again in her freezer a short time later. It was obvious to me that somehow being aware of ice spikes made them reoccur. We experimented with it and found that they happened more often. To rule out environemntal factors we used distilled, tap, filtered, and bottled water and even filled the ice tray with boiling water. We found that ice spike formation occurred regardless of water conditions.

Over the years I saw them occassionally but recently (during the last six months) I began to put attention on them again. However, they manifested so frequently that I had to assume my freezer and water conditions were just right for ice spike formation. In order for me to prove this to myself I had to go to someone's house, use their water, ice tray and freezer and see if it would manifest there as an experiment control. The other condition was that a person who never saw an ice spike before in their freezer. I had an opportunity to test this, I told this person that I wanted to do an ice spike experiment. I emptied their ice tray and filled it with with tap water. When I checked the freezer later there were two ice spikes! Moreover, this person decided to try it herself and after two weeks she got her own ice spike, not only that but a few weeks after the first one she got another spike. Still, the scientist in me questioned whether this could be a coincidence. The test of any theory is if it could be duplicated. I told someone else about about and I was told that it was 'junk science' and not possible to duplicate. I told her that I was going to try one in her freezer but before I did I asked her if she had ever seen one before. I showed her a picture of an ice spike and she was emphatic that she had not seen one before. Later when I checked, there were two ice spikes in her ice cube tray. Needless to say she was surprised and convinced.

I think there is something to here to look at, however there was one variable in these experiments which needed to be ruled out - and that was myself. Since I was in contact with my test subjects it could be argued that somehow I influenced the experiment. To rule that out (for skeptics) I devised a simple experiment: to have people who never met me try it and tabulate the results.

Crowdsource Experiment:

The experiment is simple - just fill your ice tray as you normally would - except when you do so visualize or think about ice spikes. Do not change anything except your thoughts about it. What this experiment is looking for is the increased probablity of ice spike formation, in other words a change in the rate of production. The other requirement is simply your memory - how positive you are that you had never seen one before, or if you did, note how long ago.

The first test is to see how long before you get your first spike (it could be months.) That occurrence is then tabulated against the period of time that you know for sure you had never seen one. The first spike you get is the bench mark. The second step is to note when it happens again. The length of time between the first and second event is then compared to the legth of time before the first one. Any subsequent events are also recorded. The third stage is to produce a spike in a freezer other than your own, and finally tell someone else about it and they get an ice spike.


Send in your results with pictures if you have them and testimonial to: icespikes@palermoproject.com

Frequently Asked Questions


Quantum Spikes FaceBook

Excerpt of my interview about ice spikes on the Grimerica Show podcast

Home page: www.palermoproject.com