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An experiment to investigate the effect of increasing the volume of sweat on heat loss.

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Introduction

An experiment to investigate the effect of increasing the volume of sweat on heat loss. Kieran Williams Partner: Matthew Wright Introduction We are trying to find out how the volume of sweat affects the rate of heat loss on humans. To do this, we are going to use boiling tubes containing water to represent our bodies and body temperature. We are going to wrap kitchen towel around the body to act as skin, and water dripped on the kitchen towel to represent sweat. We are going to vary the amount of 'sweat' present on different tubes to understand the effect on heat loss. There are a number of factors that will determine the rate of heat loss. The amount of sweat, which we have chosen to look at, will be an important factor, as heat is lost through evaporation. The more sweat there is on the skin, the more heat energy there is in the sweat, and so more can be lost by evaporation, thus cooling you down quicker. Secondly, it is possible that the temperature of the sweat itself could have an affect. The warmer the sweat, the less heat energy needed from the body for evaporation to take place. ...read more.

Middle

Method Firstly, we will take the 10 boiling tubes and wrap one sheet of kitchen towel around each. We will make sure the kitchen towel covers the whole of the tube, and we will use a rubber band to secure it. We will then place one of those boiling tubes into a wooden test tube rack. This will be our control test tube. We will then clamp 4 of the remaining boiling tubes to a clamp stand, each facing north, south, east and west - so that no drips fall onto any tubes, which could affect our results. We will then boil the kettle, and fill one beaker with water with a temperature of 25°C while we wait for it to boil. When it has boiled, we will pour it into another beaker, without recording the temperature. We will then take 5 small funnels, and push a hole through the kitchen towel, covering the top of the 5 test tubes. We will then use the syringe to measure 30cm³ of hot water into each tube, and we will then place a thermometer in each one. We will then measure 2cm³, 4cm³, 6cm³ and 8cm³ of water using the other 20cm³ syringe, and very carefully squirt the water around the top of the 4 boiling tubes on the clamp stand. ...read more.

Conclusion

We then adjusted our results to get them all to start at 60°C. For example, the boiling tube with 8cm³ of water in started at 58°C, so we added 2 to all of the results for that boiling tube. However, this could be a problem, as when the temperature is higher, it will tend to lose heat quicker, making our results inaccurate. We can see on the graph that at 4 minutes, there is a slight rise in the temperature of all of the boiling tubes. This was probably because we only got one set of results for 4 minutes. On the first attempt, we missed the time as we were finding it difficult to keep up. So on the graph, the results plotted for 4 minutes are just the results of the second attempt. During the experiment, we noticed that the 'sweat' occasionally dripped off of each boiling tube. This is obviously a small problem, as it affects the amount of sweat actually present on the 'skin'. For example, the boiling tube with 8cm³ of sweat could end up only having 6cm³. To improve this, we could have measured the sweat that had fallen into the beakers we had placed under the boiling tubes. Then we could have worked out exactly how much sweat had been on the boiling tube throughout the experiment, ...read more.

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