Here's a hint: Mass Transfer is the tendency of a component in a mixture to
travel from a region of high concentration into an area of low
Applying this to spaghetti. If the mixture is water and spaghetti, the
water will want to move into the spaghetti where the concentration is lower.
If the pasta were left in water at room temperature long enough, it seems the water would diffuse into it
until there were equal numbers of water molecules inside and outside the pasta.
So this brings us back to our original question...
What would happen to a pot of spaghetti left soaking in water at room temp for two hours?
Well, my friend Neel once started making spaghetti and was soon after
distracted by a phone call for two hours. He never turned on the stove so
the water remained at room temperature. When Neel returned to the kitchen,
he was amazed to find his pasta in a big lumpy pasty mess.
Obviously mass transfer was to blame!!
"Why," you ask, "doesn't this happen to me when I make pasta?" Well, for
one, you usually have enough presence of mind to turn on the heat (sorry Neel!)
And that makes ALL the difference!!