Why Does Hot Water Freeze Faster Than Cold Water?

Scientists offer £1,000 prize for answer to the question: Why does hot water freeze faster than cold?


Scientists are still confused about why hot water freezes faster than cold water, but that’s not the only problem with water that is still vexing them.  Scientists can’t explain the “water bridge” phenomena either.  I suspect these problems are related to the same cause.

Robert Johnson explains the floating water bridge in terms of a charged plasma.

Gerald Pollack discusses the role of water in the body.

Pollack points out that sunlight imparts energy to water that is used to build order and separate charge.  This energy can be harvested from water by simply putting a Nafion tube in a glass of water, proving that this does indeed take place.

Pollack further points out that if you place a negatively charged particle in water, it will be surrounded by a liquid crystalline water structure.  If you have water with many such charged particles in it, they will naturally order themselves into a crystalline structure called a “colloid crystal.”

Negatively charged particles will be attracted to other negatively charged particles in water because of the intermediary positive charge of the surrounding water.  Those charged particles are drawn toward each other up to the point where a charge equilibrium is reached between each particle.  So you’ll end up with a crystalline structure that looks like this:

Now, on to my theory about how this might explain why hot water freezes faster than cold.

In order to consistently reproduce the effect of hot water freezing faster than cold, the cool water must be distilled, and the hot water must come from the tap.  This is an important clue.  This means the cold distilled water will have very few charged particulates in it, while the hot water will have quite a few.

Heating water reduces its viscosity.  This means that it will take less time for the colloid crystal structure to form in hot water because the particles are facing less resistance to their movement as they attempt to order themselves within the water.

If we assume an experiment where all things are equal except temperature, the hot water should freeze faster than the cold water because the lower viscosity of the hot water will allow faster formation of the colloid crystal structure.  I suspect the experiments show mixed results using distilled water because there’s not enough charged particulates to make a noticeable difference.  The mixing action induced by moving charged particles is going to slow the freezing down, so the faster those charged particulates can order themselves, the sooner ice crystal formation can begin.

I could be wayyyyy off on this, but it seems plausible to me.  Considering no one else has any better ideas, perhaps they will at least give mine a look.  Even if I’m off in my analysis here, I have a strong feeling that the colloid crystal structure formed by charged particulates plays a large roll in this phenomena.  I submitted my article to them, so we’ll see if I’m a few thousand richer here in a few months 😉

  • Really a stab in the dark, but hotter water would have a higher heat flux with its surroundings/interface, and the presence of other ions in solution may help in crystal formation at said interface, similar to how fluids in perfectly smooth test tubes can have an violent reaction when a boiling chip or stick is added.

  • John Doe
  • beargrylls

    its cuz coldnes in a freezer is produced by the heat which da freon gas or anyother liquified gasabsorbs n den evaporates giving da coolin effect… wen hot water is placed.. it gives out more heat… so more liquified gas is evoparated giving more cold radiations making it freeze faster….

  • bear grylls

    da coolin effect produced in a freezer is due to da heat absorbed by da liquified gas which evaporates to produce da cooling effect… hot water will gve out more heat so more liquified gas will evaporate… givin a cooler effect and making it freeze faster..:)http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/935/2132/original.jpg?w=600&h