Does cold water come to a boil faster the hot water??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rod Melotte, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

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    Does cold wather come to a boil faster the hot water??

    Is this an urban myth that my daughter came up with? I debunked the Wizard of Oz Munchin hanging scene but can't find the truth in this one.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I read in a science mag that hot water freezes faster than cold water so she may be right. Or maybe it's all another big April Fools joke?
     
  3. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  4. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Have you considered trying it?

    'Twould make a fun experiment for you and the daughter, methinks.
     
  5. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    The answer is no
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Casting aside an constitutional difference between the two water samples (dissolved oxygen levels, other additives like salt)-- if we're talking about two "identical" samples of water...

    Obviously the goal of boiling is to reach a certain temp plateau. Whichever starts closest to that plateau will have a decided advantage.

    So, hot water will boil sooner, all things being equal.

    -V
     
  7. Rob Longmore

    Rob Longmore Stunt Coordinator

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    Water Boils at 100 Deg C, and freezes at 0 deg C this does not change.
     
  8. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Why do they use hot water to re-ice skating rinks???

    I hear its for a smoother skating surface... this true?
     
  9. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    Because hot water does in fact freeze faster than cold. I forget why exactly. Perhaps because the molecules are more excited or perhaps the thin layer of steam on the hot water does something. Another thing about water that I found interesting is the fact that as water freezes it expands (hence it floats) but did you know that cooling water actually contracts until 4 degrees celcius then begins to expand?
     
  10. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  11. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  12. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    Myth? Look into it.
     
  13. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    I'll find the explanation somewhere. I know it.
     
  14. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    The great thing about this question is that it is not something that is open to personal interpretation. Physics of materials, a.k.a. Thermodynamics, has conveniently set out all the rules that answer this question.

    And the answer to the question, does cold water come to a boil faster than hot water, is no.
     
  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  16. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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  17. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Wait. This question is about boiling water. The Mpemba effect is specifically about freezing water.

    In fact, the reason behind the Mpemba effect (gasses in hotter water escape allowing easier manipulation of temp) would also point to hotter water boiling faster.

    The original question is about boiling water, and the answer is no that hot water will boil faster.

    -V
     
  19. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    Yes that was the original question but this thread had changed direction before my comment about freezing hot water to which You and Todd scoffed. I was simply defending my position.
     
  20. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    The old wives tale that hot water freezes faster than cold was very prevalent in the past. Perhaps that is due to the type of freezers that were used before frost-free freezers were invented.

    Most home refrigerators in the 1950’s had to be defrosted periodically. They had metal freezer compartments instead of plastic. About an inch of frost would build up in the freezer section before many people would get around to defrosting their refrigerator. Combine that with the clumsy metal ice cube trays that most people used and you can see what would happen.

    Putting boiling water in a metal ice cube tray then placing it on a layer of frost would cause it to melt the frost, sink down to make contact with the metal freezer housing and then provide better cooling of the water than a tray filled with cold water that didn’t melt the frost.

    Today we try this with our plastic ice cube trays and frost-free refrigerators with plastic freezer compartments and we think our ancestors were mistaken. But with 50's era trays and freezers perhaps they weren't.

    This idea was briefly mentioned in the link Ken Thompson provided above. Read the 4th condition for the Mpemba effect, which is “Surroundings”.

    Jay Taylor
     

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