Nav: Home

Why can hot water freeze faster than cold water?

November 14, 2017

The researchers, who have recently published the findings in Physical Review Letters, have confirmed how this phenomenon occurs in granular fluids, that is, those composed of particles that are very small and interact among those that lose part of their kinetic energy. Thanks to this theoretical characterization, "we can simulate on a computer and make analytical calculations to know how and when the Mpemba effect will occur," said Antonio Lasanta. Lasanta is from the UC3M Gregorio Millán Barbany University Institute for Modeling and Simulation on Fluid Dynamics, Nanoscience and Industrial Mathematics. "In fact," he said, "we find not only that the hottest can cool faster but also the opposite effect: the coldest can heat faster, which would be called the inverse Mpemba effect."

The fact that preheated liquids freeze faster than those that are already cold was observed for the first time by Aristotle in the 4th century AD. Francis Bacon, the father of scientific empiricism, and René Descartes, the French philosopher, were also interested in the phenomenon, which became a theory when, in 1960, a Tanzanian student named Erasto Mpemba explained to his teacher in a class that the hottest mixture of ice cream froze faster than the cold one. This anecdote inspired a technical document about the subject, and the effect began to be analyzed in educational and science magazines. However, its causes and effects have hardly been studied until now.

"It is an effect that, historically, has not been addressed in a rigorous manner but merely as an anomaly and a didactic curiosity," said Antonio Prados, one of the researchers from the Universidad de Sevilla Department of Theoretical Physics. "From our perspective, it was important to study it in a system with the minimum ingredients to be able to control and understand its behavior," he said. This has enabled them to understand what scenarios it is easier to occur in, which is one of the main contributions of this scientific study. "Thanks to this, we have identified some of the ingredients so that the effect occurs in some physical systems that we can describe well theoretically," stated researcher Francisco Vega Reyes and Andrés Santos, from the Universidad de Extremadura Instituto de Computación Científica Avanzada (Institute of Advanced Scientific Computation).

"The scenario that the effect will most easily occur in is when the velocities of the particles before heating or cooling have a specific disposition--for example, with a high dispersion around the mean value," he said. This way, the evolution of the temperature of the fluid can be significantly affected if the state of the particles is prepared before the cooling.

This research of "basic science," in addition to contributing to improving fundamental knowledge, might have other applications in the mid or long term. In fact, this group of researchers is planning to carry out an experiment that verifies the theory. Learning to emulate and use this effect might have applications in our daily life, according to scientists. For example, it could be used to make electronic devices which we want to cool faster.
-end-
Video (spanish and english subtitles): https://youtu.be/esHynYASgeY

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Related Research Articles:


Related Research Reading:

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Eighth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
by Kate L. Turabian (Author), Wayne C. Booth (Editor), Gregory G. Colomb (Editor), Joseph M. Williams (Editor), University of Chicago Press Staff (Editor)

A little more than seventy-five years ago, Kate L. Turabian drafted a set of guidelines to help students understand how to write, cite, and formally submit research writing. Seven editions and more than nine million copies later, the name Turabian has become synonymous with best practices in research writing and style. Her Manual for Writers continues to be the gold standard for generations of college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines. Now in its eighth edition, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations has been fully revised to... View Details


Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 4th Edition
by John W. Creswell (Author)

The eagerly anticipated Fourth Edition of the title that pioneered the comparison of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design is here! For all three approaches, Creswell includes a preliminary consideration of philosophical assumptions, a review of the literature, an assessment of the use of theory in research approaches, and refl ections about the importance of writing and ethics in scholarly inquiry. He also presents the key elements of the research process, giving specifi c attention to each approach. The Fourth Edition includes... View Details


The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
by Wayne C. Booth (Author), Gregory G. Colomb (Author), Joseph M. Williams (Author), Joseph Bizup (Author), William T. FitzGerald (Author)

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an... View Details


Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog, 5th Edition
by William Badke (Author)

Online resources have given us access to more knowledge than ever before. We're buried in data, and defining what is and what is not genuine information becomes more of a challenge all the time. In this fifth edition of Research Strategies, author William Badke helps you make sense of all of the available information, shows you how to navigate and discern it, and details how to use it to your advantage to become a better researcher. Badke focuses on informational research and provides a host of tips and advice not only for conducting research, but also for everything from finding a topic to... View Details


ReSearch: A Career Guide for Scientists
by Teresa M. Evans (Author), Natalie Lundsteen (Author), Nathan L. Vanderford (Author)

ReSearch: A Career Guide for Scientists is a career planning guide and practical tool for graduate students and postdocs. This book provides step-by-step processes for the assessment of career goals and the actions that can be taken in order to achieve them. ReSearch includes chapters on the basics of career planning, determining unique selling points, and navigating work-life concerns.

This book also includes narratives from a number of perspectives to showcase the variety of career options available. ReSearch is written by experts with inside knowledge of how... View Details


Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice
by Denise F. Polit PhD FAAN (Author), Cheryl Tatano Beck DNSc CNM FAAN (Author)

Publisher’s Note:   Products purchased from 3rd Party sellers are not guaranteed by the Publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product.

Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice, 10th Edition has been updated to incorporate new methodological advances and, to the extent possible, substantive examples used to illustrate concepts will be from articles published in 2013 to 2015. The organizational structure introduced in the 9th edition will be maintained — i.e., content... View Details


Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
by Ranjit Kumar (Author)

Lecturers - request an e-inspection copy of this text  or contact your local SAGE representative to discuss your course needs.

Research Methodology: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners
has been written specifically for those with no previous experience of research or research methodology. Written in a logical and accessible style and providing helpful techniques and examples, it breaks the process of designing and doing a research project into eight manageable operational steps. The book guides you through your project from... View Details


Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
by Frederick J Gravetter (Author), Lori-Ann B. Forzano (Author)

RESEARCH METHODS FOR THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Fifth Edition, helps readers see how interesting and exciting experimental and nonexperimental research can be. Inviting and conversational, the book leads readers through the research process from start to finish. It begins with tips and strategies for generating research ideas, moves to selecting measures and participants, and then offers an examination of research strategy and design. This step-by-step presentation emphasizes the decisions researchers must make at each stage of the process. The authors avoid a "cookbook" approach by linking... View Details


The Basics of Social Research
by Earl R. Babbie (Author)

This thorough revision of Babbie's standard-setting text presents a succinct, straightforward introduction to the field of research methods as practiced by social scientists. Contemporary examples, such as terrorism, Alzheimer's disease, anti-gay prejudice and education, and the legalization of marijuana, introduce students to the "how-tos" and "whys" of social research methods. Updated with new data, expanded coverage of online research and other topics, and new Learning Objectives for each chapter to focus students' attention on important concepts, this edition continues to be authoritative... View Details


Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches
by John W. Creswell (Author), Cheryl N. Poth (Author)

In the revised Fourth Edition of the best-selling text, John W. Creswell and new co-author Cheryl N. Poth explore the philosophical underpinnings, history, and key elements of five qualitative inquiry approaches: narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. Preserving Creswell′s signature writing style, the authors compare the approaches and relate research designs to each of the traditions of inquiry in a highly accessible manner. Featuring new content, articles, pedagogy, references, and expanded coverage of ethics throughout, the... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."