Regardless of the mystery, Mpemba’s discovery is a wonderful illustration of many important lessons in science: the significance of experiment over theory, the danger of clinging to preconceived notions, the difficulty in evaluating even seemingly simple real-world physics problems, and the importance of perseverance in the face of unreasoning denial.
He first encountered the phenomenon in 1963...
Joe in Australia: If the effect was observed with ice cream then it can't be (primarily) convection within the material to be frozen.
Sys Rq: Resurfacers have little in common w this effect. They're resurfacers, not icemakers
They spread hot water on an ice rink. The hot water then freezes, rather than, you know, melting the rink.
Slap*Happy: Do other liquids behave like this... does room temperature gallium resolidify more slowly than liquid metal at twice its temperature?
And Zambonis are from 1949.
Why does hot water freeze faster than cold water?
It seems a simple enough question - yet it has baffled the best brains for at least 2,300 years.
* Aristotle agonized over it fruitlessly in the fourth century BC
* Roger Bacon in the 13th century used it to advocate the scientific method in his book Opus Majus
* Another Bacon, Francis, wrote in his 1620 Novum Organum, that "slightly tepid water freezes more easily than that which is utterly cold" but could not explain why
* Descartes was defeated by it in the 17th century AD
* Even perplexed 20th and 21st century scientists and intellectuals have swarmed over it without result
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