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Mini-Quiz: Mpemba Effect: When Hot Water Freezes before Cold

by Ron Kurtus

Take this Mini-Quiz to check your understanding of the lesson material.

1. How did Mpemba make this discovery?

He was observant and noticed something unusual when making ice cream

He was making ice cream and noticed it melted before he ate it

His teachers suggested he make some ice cream to prove the effect

2. Why must you use the same type of container for all experiments?

Because it is much more convenient

You must use an ice cream container, to duplicate the results

The size, shape and material affect the rate of freezing

3. Is there only one way to verify this effect?

Yes, you must use a wooden bucket to make your ice cream

No, there are many variations you can try

It depends if you are in Africa or some other location

If you got all three correct, you are on your way to becoming a Champion in Physics. If you had problems, you had better look over the material again.

Take note of the unusual

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Can hot water freeze faster than cold water? - University of California, Dept of Physics

Explanation of the Anomalies of Water - London (UK) South Bank University Applied Science Department

Experimental Details - James Brownridge; Binghamptom University (SUNY) Department of Physics

Mpemba Effect - Wikipedia encyclopedia

Physics Resources

Technical articles

Knight, Charles A., "The Mpemba Effect: The Freezing Times of Hot and Cold Water", Letter in American Journal of Physics, Vol 64, May 1996, p524

Auerbach, David, "Supercooling and the Mpemba Effect: When Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold", American Journal of Physics, Vol 63, 882-885, (1995)

Scientific American article published in 1977. Volume 237, No. 3, pages 246-257

Dorsey, N.E., Am. Philos. Soc. 38, 247-328, (1948).

Dorsey, N.E., The Properties of Ordinary Water Substance, Reinhold, Scranton, PA., (1940).


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