Monday, September 03, 2007

Strange Heat Effects

Is Science Being Made a Monkey?

Accepted Principles

In the light of this extrordinary claim of exceptional heating efficiency, (I am promised details by next Wednesday or Thursday) - I have been pondering some of the accepted principles of heating in the last few posts. At the same time, I have been trying to open my mind to non-standard thinking on heating.

One off centre idea that came to mind is the weird effect where boiling water freezes faster than cold water.

Not So Accepted Principle

Put two containers with equal amounts of water into the freezer, one boiling hot and one cold, they will both begin loosing heat to the freezer.

Contrary to general opinion, the hot water most likely will freeze first. You would expect the cold water to be the first to freeze simply because it has less heat to lose.

The phenomenon has been studied a lot with many experiments. It has been known for centuries, and was written about by several famous commentators such as Bacon, and Descartes. Modern science didn’t take any notice until 1969 when a Tanzanian high school student named Mpemba brought it to light.

Scientific study has a long history of ignoring awkward effects. “If it doesn’t fit our principles – it cannot exist” was their war cry.

The story of young Mr. Mpemba and his “re-discovery” of an awkward scientific fact gives us a darn good parable about not making snap judgements about what is possible or impossible.


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