Posted in Chen's Chemistry Lab

Does Boiling Water Freeze Faster Than Room Temperature Water?

Does boiling water freeze faster than room temperature water? What do you guys think freezes faster? Boiling Water or Room Temperature Water? Put your answer in the comments section below!

Image result for cup of boiling water                                Vs.                                   Image result for cup of water

Why did I decide to test something out like this? Speculations of these theories about how boiling water froze faster than room temperature water started in the 4th century BC by Aristotle. Theories were also brought back up by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes. This topic entertained me since it felt just like common sense to think room temperature water. It took it upon myself to test this experiment out at the own comfort of my home. Let’s get started!

Starting up the first experiment was a not so easy experience since deaļing with boiling water was risky using just your bare hands. I set up two ice cube trays, one holding boiling water and one holding room temperature water.

Blog Experiment Picture
Test #1 Ice Cube Trays

Immediately after pouring the boiling water into the tray, the trays needed to be put into the freezer or else it would alter the results of the boiling water. (If ever attempting this experiment, be cautious because water will come out when putting the ice cube tray into the freezer.

Ice Cube Trays in Refrigerator
Test #1 Ice Cube Trays in Freezer (Hot is on the right and room temperature is on the left)

 

 

The only thing left to do was to wait…. Once 10 minutes passed, it was time to do the first test of the experiment. Just looking at the edges of the ice cube tray, condensation gathered around both the trays for some reason which meant the water vapor from the steam started to condense. All the steam must have been pushed around by the freezer wind currents and ended up adhering to the room temperature water. Using the only technique I could test the water with, my finger, the room temperature was much colder than the boiling water whereas the boiling water just started to come to the room temperature. After 20 minutes, room temperature water was freezing cold but the boiling water achieved a slightly chilled temperature. Nothing much happened until the 1 hour and 40 minute mark which was when an ice layer forms on top of both trays. Since the ice layer on both ice cube trays were not cold enough, the ice shattered when touched by the finger. At the 2 hour and 15 minute mark, the ice sheet on each ice cube tray became way too thick to be penetrable to the human finger. Therefore, I would have to deem this first test inconclusive because of the lack of information on the water below the ice sheet.

Test #2: Most of my information documenting my second test was done by video. Be sure to check my blog later on to see the video. If you see this message, you are early to my blog and will be soon given a video on how the second test went. Here is how the second test went.

Just like before, there needed to be two separate ice trays each designated to either hot water or room temperature water. Clearly labeled to your convenience, the labels will also help myself when remembering which tray held which water.

Blog Ice Experiment

 

Due to more experience on how the experiment should be operated, the second test needed to be isolated more from other objects. As you can see in the first test, there are other ice cube trays under the unfrozen ones. This may have been a mistake because the ice cube trays under the other trays with liquid may have cooled the water faster than it should have cooled. Completing all the hard work was satisfying and all there was to do was to wait for the ice cubes to form.

Ice Cube Trays in Refrigerator
Test #2 Ice Cube Trays (Without anything under the ice cube trays)

 

25 minutes had passed and the room temperature water was colder than the boiling water. Later on at about the 40 minute mark, the boiling water just felt like how the room temperature felt previously. On the other hand, the room temperature water was chilled completely to the point it was the perfect cup of water you would want on a hot, summer day. There was even a small ice crystal in the room temperature water which may have melted when I touched the little piece of ice. For some reason, when touched by my fingers together, the boiling water felt colder than the room temperature water. A whole hour had passed and an ice sheet formed on both trays of water although only certain parts of the boiling water ice tray had a ice crystals.

Test #2 Ice Cube Trays Partially Frozen.JPG
The results of the water after  1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours, both trays were completely covered in ice but the results of which one was freezing faster was inconclusive because of how some ice cubes were able to be broken whereas some were not on each tray of ice. In order to actually document more of the process, I had to put the ice cube trays back into the freezer. Finally, the last test was at the 2 2/3 hour mark when the whole room temperature ice cube tray became frozen. The ice cube tray holding the boiling water still had water inside each of the ice cubes which made it obvious to say the boiling water ice cubes still needed to be frozen.

 

Final Test
The Final Test

 

From both of my tests, I will have to say I was not able to prove this theory. But why did I try to test out this theory and what was the reasoning to actually think boiling water would freeze faster?

 

My dad told me about this theory before although neither of us knew anything about it. Topics such as these interest me because it always entertained me to see what theories challenged common sense. But lets discuss how the theory came to be.

Image result for Erasto Mpemba
Erasto Mpemba (Left)

 

In 1963, Erasto Mpemba realized on certain occasions, warmer water would freeze faster than cold water. This brought up something called the Mpemba effect named after Eratos Mpemba. Earlier in history, Aristotle described how warmed water does affect the speed of how much time it took for the warm water to freeze. Other studies were carried on by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes but Mpemba was the first to commit to figuring out this effect.

When Mpemba was freezing ice cream mixes at school, he found the hot ice cream mix froze earlier than the cold ice cream mix. Mpemba brought forth the question to the professor asking if using two similar containers, one holding 95 degrees Farenheit water and one holding 212 degrees Farenheit water, which one would freeze faster? His professor tested the experiment in his own workplace and found the 212 degrees Farenheit water froze earlier. Some of the reasons were the ones below:

Evaporation of the water caused the amount of liquid to be different leading to different measurements.

Higher convection speeds in the hot water may be able to move ice crystals around quicker than those of regular water.

There are much more dissolved gases in cold water than in hot water which alters the convection currents.

Even though my test is nowhere near as proper, my tests did not show any signs of how hot water would cool faster than cold water. In essence we do not know if the Mpemba effect actually works but there is evidence on both sides supporting both claims.

 

Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog post! I really appreciate you guys reading my blogs. Don’t forget to press the follow button to receive instant notifications whenever I post something new. If you have any tips or comments, don’t be shy to put anything in the comments section. What did you guys think would freeze faster? Do you guys want to try this test at home? Put your answers in the comment section.

Anyways, again I say thank you and see you later!

 

Sources:

Special thanks to alamy.com for this featured picture. It was definitely a good picture. Don’t forget to get alamy.com out for great pictures!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpemba_effect

msongo.blogspot.com

lightworkers.org

h2oavenue.com

http://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/hot-water-freezes-faster-cold-and-now-we-know/

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Author:

Eric is my name and I’m just an average teenager with weird interests. There’s the nerdy part of my life full of math homework, essays, and checking stocks. But…………. there’s the weird part of my life where I watch YouTube, listen to various music artists, cook random things, and watch anime. My blog will consist of topics based on my obsessions or daily life. Be sure to check out my blog for recent posts!

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