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Plan - Investigating what kinds of materials are best at keeping water in a beaker warm

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Investigation: Insulation


This practical investigation involves investigating what kinds of materials are best at keeping water in a beaker warm. A material that prevents this heat loss is called an insulator. Insulators have to prevent three types of heat loss:

· Conduction
· Convection
· Radiation

Conduction of heat occurs mainly in solids. This process is where vibrating particles pass their extra vibration energy to neighbouring particles.

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Radiation of heat can also be called infer-red radiation. Heat radiation can travel through a vacuum. This process is different from the other two it travels in straight lines and at the speed of light. This is the only way heat can reach us from the sun. Heat radiation travels through transparent media like air, glass, and water. No particles are involved
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2. The other materials seem more solid and protective to the heat.

The best insulator out of the whole lot will probably be polystyrene. I chose this for my best insulator because:

1. All non-metals are good insulators

2. Polystyrene it often used to insulate hot and cold drinks. There are no gaps for the heat to escape.

I predict that these factors will effect the efficiency of the material.

· Colour
· Thickness
· Density

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Radioactivity section.

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