Why does hot water sound different to cold water when poured?

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Tomer Joseph Czaczkes

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Tomer Joseph Czaczkes  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris,

Hello, my name is Tommy Czaczkes, and I am a PhD student studying
myrmecology as the University of Sussex.

My question is; why does boiling water sound different to room temperature water when poured into a mug?


Tommy Czaczkes

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/03/2010 12:30:03 by _system »


Offline RD

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Why does hot water sound different to cold water when poured?
« Reply #1 on: 10/03/2010 00:14:22 »
This is all to do with viscosity. Hot water is less viscous (sticky) than cold water, so when it comes out of the tap it makes a higher-pitched splash than water at a lower temperature.

You can demonsrate this for yourself at the kitchen sink. Take two mugs of the same size and fill one with hot water and the other with cold.

In turn, pour the mugs into the empty sink from the same height and listen to the sound the water makes as it hits the sink bottom. The hotter liquid will sound "splashier" because it is less sticky.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2010 00:19:01 by RD »


C Grier

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« Reply #2 on: 28/04/2014 21:44:44 »
Hi Chris: can you reference any research on this topic? Just wanted to get a better understanding. I don't find anything relevant with a quick Google search.