A reader asked Rocky — What does this post have to do with the mission of the OneHonestMan Blog? Rocky answers: “There is deception all around us. The deceptions can come from others and from ourselves. Facts that we take for granted in life (and markets) may actually be illusions or rationalizations. This post is an example of that.”
It’s 12 degrees outside, and Rocky’s brother (PhD physicist) reports that he’s pouring HOT water down his gutters to unclog them. Alas, either Rocky’s brother didn’t get the memo from Aristotle, or he slept through an early morning lecture at MIT. According to Mpemba Effect, HOT water often freezes faster than COLD water!
Rocky muses, “Is this an urban myth?”
According to Monwhea Jeng at the University of California, the answer is no! Warm water DOES freeze faster than cold water.
Hot water can in fact freeze faster than cold water for a wide range of experimental conditions. This phenomenon is extremely counter- intuitive, and surprising even to most scientists, but it is in fact real. It has been seen and studied in numerous experiments. While this phenomenon has been known for centuries, and was described by Aristotle, Bacon, and Descartes [1-3], it was not introduced to the modern scientific community until 1969, by a Tanzanian high school student named Mpemba. Both the early scientific history of this effect, and the story of Mpemba’s rediscovery of it, are interesting in their own right — Mpemba’s story in particular provides a dramatic parable against making snap judgements about what is impossible. For the full article, click on: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/hot_water.html