The London Times has reported on the results of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s offer of £1,000 to anyone who can explain the counterintuitive Mpemba effect on freezing hot water (described in TA 103). But the paper said that there was still no real solution. The Society had been swamped by the number of responses it received and had had to take on extra staff to cope with the rush. They received more than 200 responses from Croatia alone; 7,000 from the US; 800 from Britain; 880 from China and four from Afghanistan!

One reply said poetically:
‘To consider Mpemba, you’ve got to remember,
no matter our clever, well seasoned capers,
we’re still plum outmatched about liquids and vapours.’

The Society has decided to ask people to vote on which of the solutions offered they consider to have been the best. Times readers were recommended to visit the Society’s website for details.

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