Why does hot water freeze faster? And other cracking science mysteries

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 10:02 in Earth & Climate

The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering £1,000 for solving the puzzle of the Mpemba effect. It's far from straightforwardIf you can explain, before the end of July, why hot water freezes faster than cold, you could bag £1,000. That's what the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is offering for "the most creative explanation" of this phenomenon, known as the Mpemba effect. They say that submissions should be "eye-catching, arresting and scientifically sound", and may use any media, including film.At the end of the month the problem will also be put to an international summer school for postgraduate science students called Hermes 2012, convened at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park to present research in materials science. The event, organised by Imperial College and sponsored by the RSC, is planned to be a kind of scientific Olympiad.All good fun – except that the Mpemba effect seems at first encounter to...

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