What follows is another interpretation of this thought experiment.
Consider the molten iron as a sphere of hot potential, and the block of ice as an expanse of cold, nebulous potential. In fact, think of this cold expanse as an enormous hole, a deep hole with a very large diameter opening, and an INCREASING diameter as one descends into the hole.
Firstly, let’s examine the introduction of the molten iron into the ambient room conditions.
The golf ball represents the molten iron and the hole represents the lower ambient potential condition. There is NO gravitational effect in operation here. The nebulosity of the hole condition is unable to support the higher positive potential contained within the sphere. The sphere thus appears to fall into the hole. What actually occurs to accumulated potential in a low pressure, negative environment is that the axial rotation of the positive sphere increases. This causes the sphere to oblate and equatorially unwind. The poles of the sphere will begin to open an d a central hole will bore through the sphere. This will cause the sphere to open up into a ring. As the sphere/ring continues to lose potential it will have no choice be to move closer to the expanded cathode base.
When the sphere has completely disappeared into the negative hole, this new equilibrium condition will have be raised a little higher
over its starting condition before the positive sphere was added. The positive potential lost by the sphere is thus gained by the negative hole. In fact, we can say this new equilibrium condition is less cathodic and a little more anodic !
Now, let’s look at the opposite experiment whereby the block of ice is introduced into the ambient condition of the room.
In this situation we need to consider the spherical ball now has the very large diameter, and the negative hole has a very small diameter. In short, the spherical accumulated potential is too large to fall into the negative hole !
The potential pressure outside the rim of the hole is very high and acts (centripetally) to close the diameter of the hole even further.
This hole closes in the direction of the apex. For carbon, the hole will be closed to a maximum at the apex.
When the hole has contracted the new equilibrium condition will thus manifest as a slightly lower overall potential. The anode has lost some of its positive character, having given up that potential to close the hole.
We can thus say, that when a negative condition is introduced to a highly positive environment the new condition arises as if the high potential fell into a seemingly shallow hole !