Questioning the Mpemba effect: hot water does not cool more quickly than cold

Burridge, HC ; Linden, Paul Frederick (2016-11-24)


The Mpemba effect is the name given to the assertion that it is quicker to cool water to a given temperature when the initial temperature is higher. This assertion seems counter-intuitive and yet references to the effect go back at least to the writings of Aristotle. Indeed, at first thought one might consider the effect to breach fundamental thermodynamic laws, but we show that this is not the case. We go on to examine the available evidence for the Mpemba effect and carry out our own experiments by cooling water in carefully controlled conditions. We conclude, somewhat sadly, that there is no evidence to support meaningful observations of the Mpemba effect.