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Rate of Heat Loss

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Rate of Heat Loss Introduction My investigation is to find out the factors that affect rate of which heat transfer happens. Heat transfer is a process in which energy in the form of heat energy is exchanged between materials that are at a different temperature. Heat is generally transferred by conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. All of these processes can all happen simultaneously but it is likely that one will give the greater heat exchange. Heat is exchanged through the brick wall by conduction. The surfaces of a high-speed aircraft are heated up by convection. The earth is heated by heat that is being radiated from the sun. These experiments involve the temperature of water taken at regular intervals from various different cups of different materials. Here is a description of the following processes that will affect my experiment: Conduction This is where heat energy passes through the walls of the can by making the particles of the can vibrate and then they will make the particles next to them vibrate causing the heat to pass through the walls of the can and out to the surroundings. Convection This is where the cooler water particles sink down to the bottom and the warmer water particles float up to the top. Convection will only affect my experiment if I did not have a lid. This is because the warm water will float up to the top and the heat energy will escape out of the top. ...read more.


If the container is covered in bubble wrap or cotton wool it will have an affect on how fast the water cools as these are good insulators and will stop the container from losing heat as quickly by conduction. Room temperature If the temperature of the room is near the starting temperature of the water then heat process of heat loss will not be as fast. This is because if there is a bigger difference in temperature then the more heat will try to escape. If the starting temperature is high then the more heat will try to escape. The factor that I have chosen to investigate is the material of the container. I have chosen this because there are many different materials that I could use in my investigation. Question The question that I have chosen is ' If I change the material of the container, will the rate of heat loss increase or decrease?' Prediction Out of the four materials that I chose to investigate I think that the polystyrene container will have the slowest rate of heat loss decrease. I am saying this because inside the polystyrene there are many small pockets of trapped air, and air is a very good insulator in small pockets. I also am suggesting that the copper container will be the worst insulator, because it is a very good heat conductor therefore passes the heat away. ...read more.


7. Put the thermometer in the water 8. Wait until the water cools down to 80oC 9. Start stop clock 10. Record the temperature every minute for 10 minutes 11. Repeat procedure for the other 2 containers 12. Repeat the whole set of experiment again to ensure accuracy Conclusion From looking at my graph and results table I conclude that there is a change at the rate at which the heat transfers through the polystyrene container. Altogether I tested 3 materials and I have discovered which have the best insulating properties. In order from the best insulator to the worst: * polystyrene * glass * copper In my prediction I had said the polystyrene would be the best insulator, because it has many air pockets trapped within it and air is an excellent insulator. I had also said in my prediction that copper would be the worst insulator as the material conducts heat away. I was correct in my prediction. In conclusion, heat loss is reduced depending on the material of the container and that small pockets of air make an excellent insulator. Evaluation I feel that I was accurate when measuring volumes of liquid and the temperature. I measured the water with a measuring cylinder and measured the liquid so that it just touched the line. Also I measured the temperature with a thermometer to the nearest .5 0C. I also measured the starting temperature accurately. I measured the time to the nearest second with the stop clock. As an improvement to my experiment I could have repeated the experiment for further accuracy. ...read more.

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