Tide instantly freezing on impact with the beach.


A reviewer for Physics World writes, "Even if the Mpemba effect is real — if hot water can sometimes freeze more quickly than cold — it is not clear whether the explanation would be trivial or illuminating." He pointed out that investigations of the phenomenon need to control a large number of initial parameters (including type and initial temperature of the water, dissolved gas and other impurities, and size, shape and material of the container, and temperature of the refrigerator) and need to settle on a particular method of establishing the time of freezing, all of which might affect the presence or absence of the Mpemba effect. The required vast multidimensional array of experiments might explain why the effect is not yet understood.[3]

New Scientist recommends starting the experiment with containers at 35 and 5 °C (95 and 41 °F) to maximize the effect.[19] In a related study, it was found that freezer temperature also affects the probability of observing the Mpemba phenomenon as well as container temperature.


Tao and co-workers proposed yet another possible explanation in 2016. On the basis of results from vibrational spectroscopy and modeling with density functional theory-optimized water clusters, they suggest that the reason might lie in the vast diversity and peculiar occurrence of different hydrogen bonds. Their key argument is that the number of strong hydrogen bonds increases as temperature is elevated. The existence of the small strongly-bonded clusters facilitates in turn the nucleation of hexagonal ice when warm water is rapidly cooled down.[2]

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