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Boiling Impossibilities (Posted on 2005-12-06) Difficulty: 5 of 5
You have a glass jar. You pour in water with a pitcher until it is half filled. You then seal the jar with an air-tight lid. (The only other thing in the jar is regular air). Assuming that the water in the jar is not already boiling after attaching the air-tight lid, how do you make the water boil?

boiling: the state in which liquid water is rapidly changing to water vapor (ie, the water is accually bubbling, not just steaming)

For clarification, the water is plain distilled H20. It is not heavy water, water with impurities, etc...

  • You cannot transfer or use anything that transfers light, heat, magnetic, electric, or chemical energy into the jar. (and no, shaking the jar till the water friction causes the water to boil does not work)
  • You cannot open or break the glass jar.
  • The area in the jar cannot increase or decrease. (You can try but the jar will not shrink, grow, or deform in any way)
  • You cannot insert anything into the water.
  • You must be able to conduct this experiment with easily attainable equipment, chemicals, and other materials. (ie, no radioactive chemicals, no superpowers, no multi-million dollar scientific equipment, you get my drift...)
  • (Note: although it is hard for it to succeed, you can conduct this experiment at home and get the water to boil without any special equipment.)

    See The Solution Submitted by Haruki    
    Rating: 3.2000 (10 votes)

    Comments: ( You must be logged in to post comments.)
      Subject Author Date
    Where's the pitcher?Sing4TheDay2006-03-10 16:02:55
    re: Just a questionVernon Lewis2006-03-02 13:46:37
    QuestionJust a questionWallace North2006-03-02 10:11:10
    re: I did it, I did it!MindRod2005-12-26 12:14:33
    I did it, I did it!Hugo2005-12-26 09:59:00
    a guesssaprom2005-12-21 13:16:26
    re(6): The Answer : 2005-12-16 13:11:51
    re(5) The Answerdopey9152005-12-16 08:56:31
    re(5): The AnswerHugo2005-12-15 15:39:18
    re(4): The AnswerJer2005-12-15 14:45:30
    re(3): The AnswerHugo2005-12-14 17:54:27
    re(2): The Answer : 2005-12-14 17:46:02
    re: The AnswerHugo2005-12-14 17:12:53
    SolutionThe Answer: 2005-12-14 16:00:23
    maybeWallace North2005-12-12 14:57:35
    Synopsis and commentsKenny M2005-12-10 14:29:46
    just an ideaWallace North2005-12-09 17:36:35
    too many unknownsWallace North2005-12-09 17:24:29
    re(2): solution?MindRod2005-12-09 10:54:07
    re: solution?Alexis2005-12-08 13:40:29
    solution?sean2005-12-07 22:17:23
    re: The solutionAlexis2005-12-07 16:57:55
    The solutionSteve2005-12-07 16:36:32
    Some Thoughtsre: Perhaps there is no solution as stated? (Possible Solution)Alexis2005-12-07 16:07:13
    Solution as Earlierdopey9152005-12-07 09:15:51
    Watcha got cookin'?Eric2005-12-07 03:46:09
    solution?sean2005-12-07 03:10:46
    SolutionPerhaps there is no solution as stated?MindRod2005-12-06 23:26:33
    off topicPercy2005-12-06 18:34:00
    off topicPercy2005-12-06 18:33:00
    off topicPercy2005-12-06 18:29:45
    ???Hugo2005-12-06 17:29:14
    Solutionre: The only way is ? + solutionPercy2005-12-06 16:09:28
    re(3): Just a guessgoFish2005-12-06 16:03:11
    re(2): Just a guessCory Taylor2005-12-06 15:45:24
    re: Just a guessLarry2005-12-06 14:23:37
    Just a guessSing4TheDay2005-12-06 11:07:27
    re: so far no goodCharlie2005-12-06 11:05:06
    so far no goodJer2005-12-06 10:42:47
    SolutionSolution?dopey9152005-12-06 09:40:51
    The only way is ?goFish2005-12-06 09:23:48
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