Scientists Finally Explain : How hot water froze faster than cold water

More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle wondered how hot water froze faster than cold water – Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes observed the same phenomenon.


Who doesn’t enjoy ice cream? Certainly not Tanzanian pupil Erasto Mpemba, who, due to his impatience to freeze his homemade ice cream, made a decision to place his still -boiling milk mix in for it to cool down without waiting, in the freezer. Well, surprise, surprise. His ice cream mix solidified more rapid than that of his pals.

While all this happened in the 1960s, the Mpemba effect itself had also been detected centuries. Similarly, Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon observed the same occurrence.

Still, after all, those years, physicists have been wondering what accounts for the Mpemba effect. How exactly does it work? Attempts are manufactured before to elucidate on the matter. However, it was fairly tough due to the inability to repeat the Mpemba effect in a manner that was foolproof and consistent. Several explanations have already been put forward, notably following the Royal Society of Chemistry ran a competition in 2012 for scientists to spell out the Mpemba effect. All of the explanations remain mostly unverified.


Recently, a team of scientists from Nanjing University in China and the Southern Methodist University in Dallas took on the Mpemba effect.

“We observe that hydrogen bonds change when warming up water, ” said Dieter Cremer of Southern Methodist University. Seemingly, the strength of hydrogen bonds is dependent on water molecules that are nearby. In their simulations of cold water, they found both strong and weak hydrogen bonds. Nevertheless, in simulations with higher temperature, most of the hydrogen bonds left where the powerful ones because, Cremer said, “the feebler ones are broken to a large extent.”

The research clarifies how this causes hot water to freeze faster:

The evaluation … leads us to propose a molecular explanation for the Mpemba effect. In warm water, the weaker H-bonds with mainly electrostatic contributions are broken, and smaller water clusters with … powerful H-bonding arrangements exist that hasten the nucleation process that contributes to the hexagonal lattice of solid ice.

Obviously, the theory needs more evidence, notably because another study from Imperial College London reasoned the Mpemba effect was absent in their experiments. We couldn't find anything similar to the Mpemba effect said Henry Burridge, one of the researchers.

So, what ’s occurring here? Years it will take some time to figure it out, but hopefully, not another 2,000 In any case, these studies are letting us comprehend water better, exploring properties of oxygen and hydrogen bonds previously unknown to us. We might even discover something even more mysterious than the Mpemba effect.