Mpemba effect UPSC NOTE


  • The Mpemba effect, named after Tanzanian student Erasto Mpemba, who brought attention to this counterintuitive phenomenon in 1969, makes for curious observation. 

  • The effect is that hot water can freeze faster than cold water in similar conditions.

  • While Aristotle, Francis Bacon, and René Descartes had noticed the effect centuries earlier, the Mpemba effect caught scientists’ attention only more recently. 

  • Researchers have conducted numerous experiments to determine the causes of this confusing phenomenon, but a consensus conclusion remains wanting.

  • One cause, they have posited, is microbubbles left suspended in water that has been heated by boiling

  • These cavities promote convection and transfer heat faster as the water cools

  • Another is evaporation: as warmer water evaporates more, it also takes away some heat (evaporation is inherently endothermic, which is how sweat cools your skin). 

  • Both convection and accelerated heat transfer are enhanced in warmer water because such water is less dense.

  • Yet another factor could be the presence of frost in cold water. 

  • Frost is an insulator and could slow the loss of heat. 

  • Scientists have also considered whether compounds in water like calcium carbonate could be precipitated by boiling, and then dissolve, thus increasing the water’s freezing point.

  • This way, the Mpemba effect continues to captivate scientists with its complex interplay of physical mechanisms.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Mpemba effect UPSC NOTE
Mpemba effect UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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