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Find out which container is the best insulator and which can retain heat the longest.

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Mansoor Khan Physics Coursework: cups Heat loss Planning (method and plan) Aim: my aim is to find out which container is the best insulator and which can retain heat the longest. Method: I am going to collect my results by setting up a clamp that will hold a thermometer, which will give me my temperature recordings. The thermometer will be in the middle of the container. The container will contain boiling hot water and I will get the boiling water from a kettle. Before I put the water in the container I will measure 50ml of water. I will use a stopclock for the time. I will record the temperature, every 20 seconds for 5 minutes. I will use a lid made of cardboard with a hole pierced directly so thermometer can pass through and it also be held in an upright position. I will do this 6 times with 6 different materials of china, plastic, polystyrene, paper, card and glass. I will firstly record the temperature before I start the stopclock. I will use 2 thermometers and change each one after each experiment. Equipment: 1. Thermometer - for recording temperature. 2. Stopclock - for the time 3. Containers - copper, polystyrene, glass, paper, plastic and glass. 4. Kettle - for boiling water 5. Cardboard - for use of a lid and holding thermometer in a upright position 6. Clamp - for holding thermometer 7. Measuring cylinder - for measuring water 8. ...read more.


The surface with silver had relatively the same temperature as the beginning of the experiment because it had kept the water the warmest by reflecting the heat back into the water. This tells me that any dark surface container will lose heat at a faster rate than any light coloured surface container. I have done an experiment in class conduction, by using a rod made up of two different metals on either side of the rod, one side was copper and the other side was steel. The rod was heated by a naked flame, a Bunsen burner which made the rod expand the copper side expanded the more than the steel side and this shows that the copper surface is the better conductor of heat because when any metal is heated it expands, so whatever metal expands the most and the quickest is the best conductor of heat because the heat is transferred by conduction across the steel rod. This all adds further weight to my theory that the copper container will lose the most heat and the quickest. I predict that the china container will not lose at lot of heat because it is very thick and shiny and stops heat being lost through I predict that my paper container retain a certain amount of heat but at the same time lose heat steadily because the paper cup is very thin and heat loss through conduction will be easy. Paper is made out of wood and wood is a poor conductor of heat and a good insulator. ...read more.


When I first looked at the temperature before I started the experiment I took the temperature of the water at 0 seconds, it takes about ten seconds to record the temperature the water could have cooled down a during ten seconds, so my experiment could have actually gone for an extra ten seconds from when I put the water in the container and so my recoding at twenty seconds would have been at thirty seconds, and so my results would have been inaccurate. By inserting a thermometer into to the lid, heat will travel up the thermometer from the hot water and heat is lost from the thermometer, I could have prevented this by using a digital thermometer, by using digital I could have avoided heat loss. By doing my experiment on a nice warm day would have been better because heat loss would have been gradual and not as fat as a cold day as heat likes to move from a hot area to a cold area. If I could do the experiment again I would do the each experiment three times so I can work out the averages of the temperature recordings for accuracy. My results may have not been reliable because I used different containers sizes this may have affected my results, so if I was toy do the experiment again I would use the same sized containers, so I could have the same amount of water in each container. I would also use the same coloured cups so I could prevent heat loss by radiation. ...read more.

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