Technical Briefs

Vertical Movement of Isothermal Lines in Water

[+] Author and Article Information
William R. Gorman, Gregory J. Parks

Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

James D. Brownridge1

Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000jdbjdb@binghamton.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 131(6), 064501 (Apr 02, 2009) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3084120 History: Received January 10, 2008; Revised December 03, 2008; Published April 02, 2009

We experimentally investigated the development and vertical movement of isothermal lines in cooling columns of confined water. The isothermal line develops spontaneously whenever the bottom of the column cools to 4°C before the top. The width of these lines was typically less than 1 cm, with up to a 3°C thermal gradient across these lines. The velocity was inversely proportional to the diameter of the column. The velocity was 1.4±0.1cm/min when the column diameter was 2.2 cm, and decreases to 0.4±0.1cm/min when the diameter was increased to 12.5 cm. Data presented here also raise serious questions about the claim of new phase transitions in water made by Esposito (2008, “Mpemba Effect and Phase Transitions in the Adiabatic Cooling of Water Before Freezing,” Physica A, 387, pp. 757–763).

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Temperature versus time showing the difference between stirred and nonstirred water. The thermocouple is at the same location for each curve, and the error bars are smaller than the symbols. Inset: schematic of the water containers used to measure the vertical velocity of isothermal lines; (a) container for ice bath cooling and (b) container for freezer cooling. TCs 1–7 are seven thermocouples positioned axially in the center of each container with TC 1 at the bottom.

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Figure 2

Temperature versus time of warm water cooled in an ice bath in a container with a 6.0 cm diameter and 15 cm length. Inset: closeup of the movement of the isothermal line from that same run. TC 1 is ∼0.3 cm from the bottom of the container, and TC 7 is ∼0.3 cm from the top of the container. Notice the sudden change in the rate of cooling. This marks the time when the isothermal line arrives at each TC as it moves up the column.

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Figure 3

Temperature versus time of a 4 mm, 16 mm, and 40 mm diameter cylinder with thermocouples placed at the top and bottom. Inset: movement of cold front monitored by six thermocouples in a 6 cm diameter cylinder, 21 cm tall, with the thermocouples 2 cm from the top and spaced 1 cm apart. TC 1 was 14 cm from the bottom.

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Figure 4

Velocity of isothermal lines versus diameter of the column of water. Inset: temperature versus time for H2O and D2O placed in identical containers. The starting time of the H2O curve was offset by 20 min for display purposes. TC 1 is 4.5 cm from the bottom of a 10 cm tall container.




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