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An investigation into the properties of insulators.

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An investigation into the properties of insulators. Aim To show that good insulators have trapped pockets of air. Insulators The four insulators we are going to use are Bubble Wrap, Cotton Wool, Cardboard and Newspaper. We are also going to test the amount of heat lost without any form of insulator so that we can compare the results. Equipment The equipment required for this experiment is: Boiling tubes Boiling water Thermometer Stop Watch Four chosen insulators Stand (to clamp the boiling tubes on) Preliminary Work We could not decide between us, which type of container to use - boiling tubes or metal beakers. We tested both out to determine which gave the fairest results; and we decided that the boiling tube was the better of the two. We thought this because metal is a good conductor of heat, and if we used a metal beaker it would work against the insulators. ...read more.


I do not think that bubble wrap will be a very good insulator because the air pockets are extremely large and will make it easy for heat transfer to take place. Also, I do not think that newspaper will be a very good insulator because it is very thin with no air pockets, therefore the basic necessities for insulation to occur are missing. And finally, I think cardboard will be a very good insulator because it has several layers, however after weighing up the advantages of each insulator I reckon cotton wool is the best. Diagram Method For this experiment we clamped a boiling tube in a stand, and filled it with 40 ml of boiling water (or as near to boiling as we could make it) with a measuring cylinder and a thermometer (to check how hot we had made it.) Each experiment lasted ten minutes and we took the temperature at the start and the finish so that we could compare results and see the amount of heat lost. ...read more.


final temperature =Amount of temperature lost 65-39 =26 Graphs Conclusion In conclusion, we can see by looking at the results that cardboard is the best insulator. This means that my initial prediction was not correct, because cotton wool was only the third best insulator out of those we tried. I also discovered that wrapping a boiling tube in bubble wrap actually makes the amount of temperature loss increase, which either means the experiment went wrong or bubble wrap has some absorption qualities that increase the rate of heat energy transfer. Evaluation I think that the experiment was a success, and we had no major problems. We have clear, concise results that gave us the answer to our question - whether the best insulators contain pockets of air. To develop our ideas and our results, I would like to do an experiment on bubble wrap to find out why we came to the conclusion that we did, and whether our results were accurate or not. Abbie Taylor ...read more.

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