Hydrogen-bond memory and water-skin supersolidity resolving the Mpemba paradox
The Mpemba paradox, that is, hotter water freezes faster than colder water, has baffled thinkers like Francis Bacon, René Descartes, and Aristotle since B.C. 350. However, a commonly accepted understanding or theoretical reproduction of this effect remains challenging. Numerical reproduction of observations, shown herewith, confirms that water skin supersolidity [Zhang et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., DOI: 10.1039/C1034CP02516D] enhances the local thermal diffusivity favoring heat flowing outwardly in the liquid path. Analysis of experimental database reveals that the hydrogen bond (O:H–O) possesses memory to emit energy at a rate depending on its initial storage. Unlike other usual materials that lengthen and soften all bonds when they absorb thermal energy, water performs abnormally under heating to lengthen the O:H nonbond and shorten the H–O covalent bond through inter-oxygen Coulomb coupling [Sun et al., J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2013, 4, 3238]. Cooling does the opposite to release energy, like releasing a coupled pair of bungees, at a rate of history dependence. Being sensitive to the source volume, skin radiation, and the drain temperature, the Mpemba effect proceeds only in the strictly non-adiabatic ‘source–path–drain’ cycling system for the heat “emission–conduction–dissipation” dynamics with a relaxation time that drops exponentially with the rise of the initial temperature of the liquid source.