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Investigating heat loss in different sized animals.

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Introduction

Nicola Murr

Science coursework Biology

Investigating heat loss in different sized animals

All living things lose heat energy through the process of respiration. If an animal has a large surface area to volume ratio then it will lose the most heat over a set amount of time.

Surface area: Volume ratio = Surface area

                                Volume ratio

Prediction

I predict that the smallest beaker will lose the most amount of heat energy because it has a larger surface area to volume ratio. From my preliminary experiment I found out that the larger the object the smaller the surface area to volume ratio. From my preliminary experiment I therefore predict that the smallest beaker 100cm3 will loose the most heat and will have the biggest drop in temperature over 20 minutes because it will have the largest surface area to volume ratio.  I also predict that the 2000cm3 beaker will have the smallest drop in temperature over 20 minutes because it has the smaller surface area to volume ratio. image00.pngimage01.png

image02.png

100cm3 beaker 250cm3 beaker 500cm3 beaker 1000cm3 beaker 2000cm3 beaker

Pre-test

Time

100cm 3

250cm3

(Minutes)

Temperature °C

0

80

80

1

72

78

2

70

75

3

68

73

4

66

72

5

64

70

6

63

68

7

61

67

8

60

66

9

59

65

10

58

64

11

56

62

12

55

61

13

54

61

14

53

60

15

52

59

...read more.

Middle

Surface area = 54cm2image05.png

Volume = 27cm3

SA: VR = 54/27 = 2

These cubes show me that the cube with the most blocks has the smallest surface area to volume ratio, but the cube with the least amount of blocks has the largest surface area to volume ratio. I carried out my preliminary experiment over 13 minutes I used a 100cm3 beaker and a 250cm3 beaker. They both had a starting temperature of 80ºC and I measured the temperature drop every minute for 13 minutes. The 250cm3 beaker lost the least out of the 2 beakers in 13 minutes. I therefore predict that out of all the beakers the 100cm3 beaker will loose the most heat and have the highest overall temperature drop and the largest amount of heat energy lost in my experiment.  I predict that the 2000cm3 beaker will loose the least amount of heat energy and have the smallest temperature loss because the 2000cm3 beaker has the smallest surface area to volume ratio.

Plan

I am going to collect five different sized beakers – 100cm3, 250cm3, 500cm3, 1000cm3 & 2000cm3 each beaker representing different sized animals.

Next I am going to calculate the surface area and volume for each beaker in order to do the equation surface area: volume ratio.

I am going to get my equipment out. I will fill the kettle with water and boil the water, I will pour the water into the beakers and each person will monitor their beaker.

...read more.

Conclusion

3 beaker and the 500cm3 beaker that were the same. However the results were averages and not the original, so the original results from the 2 experiments could have been different. The odd result could have occurred because the thermometer could have been read 1 degree above or below the actual temperature, which could have made all the difference to the overall average.

If I did this experiment again I would do things slightly different. I would do 3 experiments then calculate an average from the 3 experiments. 3 experiments for each beaker would be more accurate because you have 3 lots of results and it would be easier to identify if a particular experiment results were incorrect. I would also use a electronic thermometer attached to a data logging piece of software which would automatically record the temperature every 10 seconds, but would highlight the results for each minute. Using software that would automatically record the temperature every 10 seconds would reduce the risk of human error and inaccuracy it would also provide a clearer picture of the temperature during the minutes. I would have a larger amount of data to work with and to compare.

...read more.

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