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 Boiling Impossibilities (Posted on 2005-12-06)
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)

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 Just a guess | Comment 5 of 41 |
Since boiling occurs when the pressure of the water equals the air pressure outside the water, and since it doesn't seem that you are allowed to do anything to increase the pressure of the water once it's inside the jar, there must be some way to DECREASE the AIR pressure inside the jar.  Perhaps you could heat the water to just below the boiling point before pouring it into the jar, then, after sealing the jar, put something REALLY cold on top of the jar like dry ice.
 Posted by Sing4TheDay on 2005-12-06 11:07:27

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