The Mpemba effect, Shechtman's quasicrystals and student exploration activities

Marek Balážovič, Boris Tomášik
2012 Physics Education  
In the 1960s, Tanzanian student Erasto Mpemba and his teacher published an article with the title "Cool" in the journal Physics Education (Mpemba, E. B. - Osborne, D. G.: Cool?. In: Physics Education, vol.4, 1969, pp. 172-175.). In this article they claimed that hot water freezes faster than cold water. The article raised not only a wave of discussions, and other articles about this topic, but also a whole series of new experiments, which should verify this apparent thermodynamic absurdity and
more » ... amic absurdity and find an adequate explanation. Here we give a review with references to explanations and we bring some proposals for experimental student work in this area. We introduce Mpemba Effect not only as a paradoxical physics phenomenon, but we shall present a strong educational message that the Mpemba story brings to the teachers and their students. This message also creates a bridge between this phenomenon and the discovery for which the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded. It leads to critical adoption of traditional knowledge and encourages resilience in investigative exploration of new things.
doi:10.1088/0031-9120/47/5/568 fatcat:rsq45mxzxzb2hlltlziqs6liqq