London, June 27: The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering 1,000 pounds to the person or team producing the best and most creative explanation of the phenomenon that perplexed even great minds like Aristotle and Descartes – why hot water freezes faster than cold water.
The phenomenon is known today as ‘The Mpemba Effect’.
Competition judges will be looking for an outside-the-box, inventive submission. In addition, the format of the submission should be creative and eye-catching.
Any medium or technology can be employed to make the case, including articles, illustrations or even film.
Submissions can be based on, and reference, existing research.
The winning submission will be scientifically sound, and arresting in presentation and delivery.
The public has four weeks to crack the case before a group of the world’s brightest young science brains take on the challenge in London as one aspect of a special science communications meeting entitled Hermes 2012.
Fittingly, that group’s bid for glory will be made in the first week of the Olympics.
The sharpest international postgraduate science students will travel to England from around the globe to participate in the Hermes 2012 event.
“Modern scientists are still perplexed at this seemingly simple question,” the Telegraph quoted Royal Society of Chemistry President Professor David Phillips as saying.
“Ice cream makers and bartenders alike use the fact that hot water freezes more quickly than cold water every day in their work, but no one really knows why it works.
“The problem has been around for millennia, with philosophers such as Aristotle and Descartes pondering over it.
“Since the discovery of the effect, scientists have been trying to find out why the phenomenon occurs but remain divided as to what the answer is. It seems that there are lots of possible answers but a conclusive explanation hasn’t been produced yet,” he added.
The deadline for submissions is 30 July 2012 after which the answers will be reviewed by a panel of scientists and their decision will be final. (ANI)