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Offline that mad man

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« on: 13/04/2007 21:17:04 »
Something that has been known about for ages and I only just find out. doh!

Difficult to believe but apparently, warm water freezes quicker than cold water.

What do you think?

TMM


 

Offline neilep

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #1 on: 13/04/2007 21:19:51 »
In advance of someone actually posting a comment here's a link to when it was previously discussed......ages ago !!

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=1855.msg14853;topicseen#msg14853


you may need to scroll the page up when you click it.
 

paul.fr

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #2 on: 13/04/2007 21:26:58 »
Evening TMM

Yes, hot water in a freezer freezes fast than cold water.  The reason is that the surface of the freezer usually has a layer of ice on it.  Ice is an excellent insulator, and therefore limits the heat transfer to the freezing surface.  Putting hot water in your pan (or ice-cube tray) has the effect of melting the ice-layer on the surface, providing for better heat transfer to the surface.


There is also the fact that there is increased evaporation from the warm water, which reduces the mass of water that must be cooled
 

Offline Karen W.

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #3 on: 14/04/2007 05:55:26 »
Thats cool, I did not know that either!
 

Offline JimBob

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #4 on: 14/04/2007 06:23:20 »
Evening TMM

Yes, hot water in a freezer freezes fast than cold water.  The reason is that the surface of the freezer usually has a layer of ice on it.  Ice is an excellent insulator, and therefore limits the heat transfer to the freezing surface.  Putting hot water in your pan (or ice-cube tray) has the effect of melting the ice-layer on the surface, providing for better heat transfer to the surface.


There is also the fact that there is increased evaporation from the warm water, which reduces the mass of water that must be cooled

I had a physics teacher in high school lecture on this and I remember the event vividly. The details I still do not understand completely. His explanation had to do with entropy and thermodynamics. Will some physicist please go through this again as I know that this is the reason hot water freezes faster.

 

paul.fr

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #5 on: 14/04/2007 23:05:31 »
JimBob,

is this what you are after?

The Mpemba Effect is a special phenomenon where hot water freezes faster than cold water. The discovery of this effect was made by a high school student named Mpemba in Tanzania, Africa in 1969. He noticed this phenomenon while making ice cream and was curious enough to make note of it. His teachers did not believe it was possible, and it took several years until university professors finally accepted his discovery.


To explain how the Mpemba Effect works, you first need to understand the factors involved in how water freezes.

Heat and temperature
Obviously, temperature is a factor in water freezing.

Definitions
The temperature of water in a container is the average energy of its molecules. The heat of the amount of water is defined as total amount of energy of all its molecules. Thus the heat is dependent on how much water is in the container and thus how many molecules there are in the container.

Changing state
When you place a container of water in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator, the water will cool and finally freeze. The temperature of the water goes down as the heat of the water (energy of the water molecules) is reduced. When the temperature reaches 32oF or 0oC, the water changes from a liquid to a solid state.

Temperature stays until frozen
Note that temperature of the water drops until it reaches the freezing point. Then it will stay at 32oF or 0oC until the water solidifies. After the water turns to ice, its temperature can become lower if the air temperature is lower.

Conduction
Much of the cooling is done by conduction.

Container
The container is is direct contact with some cold material, such as the freezer shelf. The container gets cold and also cools the water by conduction.

Metal is a good conductor, so a metal pail would speed up cooling the water by conduction. On the other hand, wood is a poor conductor of heat. A wooden pail would require other heat transfer methods to cool the water.

Air
Cold air is in contact with both the container and the water. The water transfers heat to the cooler air by means of conduction, thus lowering the temperature of the water.

Convection
Convection is the transfer of energy through the movement of currents of a gas or liquid. You can see this motion when heating a pot of water on a stove. You can also feel the effect of it on a cold, windy day.

Different densities cause water convection
Since cold water is more dense than warm water, it will sink to the bottom of the container, causing some convection currents during the freezing process. When the temperature of the water gets below 39oF or 4oC, it becomes less dense and will float to the top until the water finally freezes.

Air convection
There is also the effect of the movement of cold air. Some freezers have small fans to move the cold air around, so the water can be cooled by this air convection. A windy day in the winter can cool things much more than a still day at the same temperature.

Slowing freezing
In some situations when water is moving, it can actually increase the time it takes to freeze as compared with still water. For example, ducks often paddle around in a pond in the winter to keep it from freezing over.

Evaporation
When a liquid evaporates, the higher energy molecules leave the lower energy molecules behind, resulting in lowering the temperature of the material. You can experience that by spreading some water on your skin and blowing across it to enhance evaporation. there is more evaporation from hot water than from cold.

Radiation
Warm water may radiate out some its energy, but the amount of cooling caused by radiation is negligible.

Explanation of effect
Using knowledge of the factors involved in how water freezes, scientists tried to come up with an explanation of the Mpemba Effect. The factors that allow this effect to take place are conduction, evaporation, convection and dissolved gases. Since this is a complex effect, these explanations are somewhat speculative.

Good conduction and good contact
One theory is that frost on a container can slow down the cooling process.

If hot water is placed in the freezer in a small container that is a good conductor of heat (or cold), the warmth of the container can melt any frost that collects on its surface. This includes the ice on the bottom surface. When this ice refreezes, it creates a good connection between the container and the surface, allowing much better conduction of cold than a container of cold water that has frost on its surface, including its bottom. As a result, heat is drawn out of the warmer container more rapidly than the one with cold water in it.

Convection and insulating surface
Just as a layer of frost on the surface of a container can slow down the conduction of heat from the water, a layer of ice on the upper surface of the water can insulate the water from the from the colder air currents.

Since water becomes less dense between 37oF and 32oF (3oC and 0oC), it will float to the top and then finally freeze. This thin layer of ice will then act as an insulator protecting the water below from freezing rapidly and will slow down the freezing process of cold water.

In the case of warm water, the convection currents will cause that ice to melt, allowing the water to cool more rapidly.

Evaporation
It is thought that evaporation is one factor that allows warm water to freeze faster than cold water. There is more evaporation from warm or hot water than from cold water. Thus the evaporation not only carries off some of the water, resulting in slightly less water to freeze in the warm water container, but it also causes the temperature of the warm container to drop due to heat lost.

Poor conduction and evaporation
If the container is made of something like wood, which is a poor conductor of heat (or cold), then a great part of the cooling will be caused by evaporation instead of conduction. This could be an important factor in explaining how hot water freezes faster than cold. For example, Mpemba used wooden buckets when he was making his ice cream and noticed the phenomenon.

Dissolved gasses
One more possible factor concerns that fact that water always contains dissolved gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. These impurities have the effect of lowering its freezing point.

When water is heated, gases are driven out because their solubility in water is less at higher temperatures. Thus, when the hot water cools, it has less dissolved gas than water which was not heated, so it has a higher freezing point and freezes first.

Experimental conditions
Knowing the factors involved in freezing warm water, you can attempt to duplicate the Mpemba Effect. In any good experiment, you want to change only one variable and keep everything else to the same. You must also be able to determine when you achieved the outcome of the experiment.

Factors
Factors that must remain the same are:

The temperature of the freezer
The amount of water in the container
The size, shape and material of the container
Any type of air motion over the water
The only thing you vary is the initial temperature of the water.

When frozen
A big problem is determining when the water is frozen. Mpemba was making ice cream when he made his discovery. He wasn't using a timer, but was observant enough to notice the difference in freezing time.

You could use a thermometer or temperature probe in the water to see when the temperature near the bottom levels off at the freezing point. Then check often to determine when the water in the container is frozen. Perhaps a clear container would help.

Different starting temperatures
The best way to really test the theory is to perform the experiment at a number of different water temperatures. In this way, you could find the which warmer water temperature froze quicker than water at a cooler temperature. There may be other water temperatures for which the effect does not hold.

Of course, you could be lucky and pick the correct temperature ranges the first time.


here are a few links:

http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/explan4.html

http://www.physics.adelaide.edu.au/~dkoks/Faq/General/hot_water.html
 

Offline that mad man

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #6 on: 14/04/2007 23:28:29 »
In advance of someone actually posting a comment here's a link to when it was previously discussed......ages ago !!

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=1855.msg14853;topicseen#msg14853


you may need to scroll the page up when you click it.


Err, (quickly thinks of excuse), between those dates I was kidnapped by aliens and did not have access to the internet.  [^]

 ;D

Cheers Paul that was the effect and some of the info was new to me.

TMM
 

paul.fr

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #7 on: 14/04/2007 23:51:49 »
In advance of someone actually posting a comment here's a link to when it was previously discussed......ages ago !!

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=1855.msg14853;topicseen#msg14853


you may need to scroll the page up when you click it.


Err, (quickly thinks of excuse), between those dates I was kidnapped by aliens and did not have access to the internet.  [^]

 ;D

Cheers Paul that was the effect and some of the info was new to me.

TMM


no problem, Bee.

this wikipedia page also has some info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpemba_effect
 

Offline lightarrow

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #8 on: 15/04/2007 14:06:18 »
Something that has been known about for ages and I only just find out. doh!
Difficult to believe but apparently, warm water freezes quicker than cold water.
What do you think?
TMM
Can you please ask this question:
When you freeze hot water, does it temperature goes from, let's say, 50C to 0C without ever being any temperature in between? Or do you think that it Does have to acquire all temperatures in between? And when it has acquired a temperature of, let's say, 2C, what is it if not cold water?
 

lyner

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #9 on: 15/04/2007 16:27:34 »
I always thought in terms of a simple explanation and that is: The  temperature in the freezer goes up and down a bit, as the refrigerator unit cycles on and off. Putting a warm item in the freezer is likely to raise the internal temperature significantly , nudging the thermostat, and kick the motor into operation earlier, on average, than if you just open the door and pop your cold water in there. Once the motor has started,  the rate of heat extraction will be faster as the cooling plates will promote strong convection   (in my case, there is a fan inside too).
Lightarrow is also skeptical about magically different properties of 'just cooled' and ' already cooled' water. How does a molecule in your bowl know what  sort of water it is a part of?
I guess the 'improved thermal contact' idea has some mileage in it too, but let's, at least, try to go  for a simple solution if we can.
 

Offline JimBob

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #10 on: 16/04/2007 05:04:30 »
JimBob,

is this what you are after?

The Mpemba Effect is a special phenomenon where hot water freezes faster than cold water. The discovery of this effect was made by a high school student named Mpemba in Tanzania, Africa in 1969.


Sorry Paul, I had an exceptionally gifted physics teacher in high school who had read The ancients, obviously. He also taught at the University of New Mexico during the summer.

The lecture I vividly remember was in 1960 - I was 16 or 17 at the time. A little before the African experiment.

The lecture was on entropy and was the first time I had heard the word.

 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #11 on: 16/04/2007 14:00:51 »
I'm stunned. Stunned, I say!  ???
 

Offline JimBob

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #12 on: 17/04/2007 06:17:58 »
Yes, Sir Beaver, I still retain cognitive ability even at this advanced age.

However, I must wear a bib for the drool.  [^]
 

lyner

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #13 on: 21/04/2007 23:40:01 »
Quote
The discovery of this effect was made by a high school student named Mpemba in Tanzania, Africa in 1969.
The idea was introduced much earlier than that.
In about 1953, my family bought our first fridge in Plymouth.
I was told about the effect at that time by my Mum and have always remembered the occasion. I have treated it as an urban legend.
Any experimental 'data' I have seen is far too sketchy to consider seriously.
Has there been a proper study of it?
 

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does warm water freeze quicker than cold?
« Reply #13 on: 21/04/2007 23:40:01 »

 

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