My last Ice Science Roundup included a portion on the Mpemba Effect, by which certain circumstances will cause hot water to freeze faster than cold. This is incredibly controversial stuff in ice science circles, for a variety of reasons. To laymen, it seems like total bullshit, because, well, hot water is hotter and stuff. To the experts in the field who are skeptical, the objections are more scientific: Hot water is hotter and such.
OK, so the objections aren’t really so far apart.
Anyway, when last I opined on this freakishness, the problem was that while people as far back a Aristotle have noticed this phenomenon, no one had ever done any really rigorous experiments to try to see if it could be proven, and what was the cause if it could.
Apparently, the folks in Science read this blog, because one of them, David Auerbach has finally gotten around to doing some painstaking research on finding out if the effect really works. Either that, or he was out of ice, had guests coming over for a cocktail party and was desperate to get ice as fast as possible by any means possible. Which it was is left unclear by the article I read in Science News (via Maetenloch in Ace’s ONT)
Auerbach is the first to successfully set up a reproducible result demonstrating the effect. This proves the theory once and for all. Unless you are one of the numerous scientists who still refuse to believe it really works, since, well, hot water is hotter and stuff. And even Auerbach can’t explain his results, only demonstrate the effect. Unless he doesn’t, if you read what the skeptics have to say.
I’m more confused about this than I was before you started.
Me too. But it is fun to talk about, and the article is worth a read. And it gives me an excuse to post another cool picture of ice.