A Very Basic Experiment Is Stumping the World’s Best Physicists
The Mpemba effect describes hot water freezing faster than cold water. But is it a real thing? Surprisingly scientists are still trying to figure that out. Read more from Quanta:
Over the past few years, as the controversy continues about whether the Mpemba effect occurs in water, the phenomenon has been spotted in other substances — crystalline polymers, icelike solids called clathrate hydrates, and manganite minerals cooling in a magnetic field. These new directions are helping researchers peek into the complicated dynamics of systems that are out of thermodynamic equilibrium. A contingent of physicists modeling out-of-equilibrium systems has predicted the Mpemba effect should occur in a wide variety of materials (along with its inverse, in which a cold substance heats up faster than a warm one). Recent experiments appear to confirm these ideas.
Yet the most familiar substance of all, water, is proving to be the slipperiest.
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