Some time ago I averred that one way of snap freezing an elephant would be to bombard it with protons, assuming that the water in the animal existed as Pollack’s EZ water. But chatting with a physicist about it led to the issue of the penetration depth of protons and could these particles penetrate the elephant internally to convert the EZ water to ice? We know protons can’t penetrate very deeply so one might conclude my theory might be sunk. Perhaps not.
Moving loose protons and electrons are simply electric currents in free space.
We also know from experience that we, humans, and hence other life forms, are electrically conductive. If we weren’t we would not have a problem handling live electrical wires. If flesh is electrically conductive the problem then is ? Except I don’t know whether anyone has experimented on living things by bombarding them with electrons or protons but there might be some ethical considerations to consider. But if currents of electrons at moderate voltages and amperes cause us physical distress, then is part of that distress involving the movement of protons inside us to the negative electrical cable? Since we are also electrically negatively charged, does electrocution involved electrons coming in to us, or protons leaving us. And how would you test this mechanism on a living animal?
Of course if living things are electrically conductive and, say, we grab a live electric wire but have no contact with the earth, and hence ground, then apparently we experience no electric shock. It’s only when we ground ourselves that electric distress happens, and then which way the current flow? Obviously the higher potential in the electrified wire goes to the ground via the biological conductor, based on the principle of charge balance. So it’s clear that the electrons travel from the live wire, through the body and thus to the earth.
So how could one snap freeze an elephant? Bombard it with protons as originally proposed and because the elephant is not only in contact with the ground, and thus earthed, but also a preferential path for the protons in the atmosphere to reach the negative electrical ground via the more electrically conductive animal, than the more resistant atmosphere, it will easily absorb the inrush of protons into the EZ water structure to almost instantly form ice from the EZ water.
UPDATE: Second last paragraph is basically wrong – positive charges travel from the wire to the earth, and negative, electrons, from the earth to the wire. Still does not really solve the “freezing a pachyderm” problem though and the Lyellians remain perplexed as ever