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# : To investigate how the volume to surface area ratio affects the heat-loss rate of water in a boiling tube, then to apply this knowledge to a living organism like a penguin.

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Introduction

Biology Coursework "Heat-Loss Rate Factors" By Tasha Kappella Plan Aim: To investigate how the volume to surface area ratio affects the heat-loss rate of water in a boiling tube, then to apply this knowledge to a living organism like a penguin. Prediction: If the volume to surface area ratio is smaller, then the heat loss rate will be slower. I believe this will be the case as, when an object has a large volume capacity but a small surface area, its heat has less surface area to escape from. Whereas if an object, of similar shape, has a small volume capacity but a large surface area, then its heat has a large surface area to escape from: the small volume capacity will quicken the rate too. I can demonstrate this theory through cube diagrams. Even though the two cubes are different sizes, they are of similar/identical shape. This is important as when comparing one species of penguin, I'm assuming that they are all of similar shape, just different sizes. The following single cube is a 1cm cube, V represents the volume and S.A represents the surface area. V= w x l x h S.A= 6 (l x w) V= 1 x 1 x 1 S.A= 6 (1 x 1) V= 1cm? S.A= 6cm? ...read more.

Middle

Also, having the water bath set at 45?C, the water was quite hot and out of a comfortable temperature zone to handle with. For the next experiment I adjusted it down to 40?C, as this is a more suitable temperature. Apparatus: * 5x test tubes of equal size * Test tube stand * 30ml syringe * Water bath, set at 40?C * Thermometer * Stopwatch Diagram: Method: 1) From the water-bath, pour out 25mls into a test tube and place the thermometer in it. 2) Remember- hot water is being dealt with so take care not to burn yourself or anyone around the experiment! 3) Wait till the thermometer has reached a steady measurement and record the temperature: this should be 40?C. 4) Start the stopwatch and record the new temperature for every minute for 5 minutes. 5) Repeat steps 1-4 for test tubes of water with volumes of 20mls, 15mls, 10mls and 5mls. 6) Repeat the entire experiment, steps 1-5, a further 2 times. This allows the results to be more reliable as an average can be drawn from the varied results; making sure they are within a close range. Results Heat-Loss Rate Experiments 1, 2, 3 & Averages Experiment Volume (mls) ...read more.

Conclusion

(If the volume added was smaller then the 'coldness' of the test tube would influence it's rate quicker) * A new thermometer could be used each time, (along with new test tubes for each experiment). Another defect in the experiment is that the test tubes are 'open', which allows heat loss through the constant flow of air, and not only through the glass (which is acting like the penguin's 'skin'). A way to prevent this is to get rubber test tube stoppers, with thermometer access. It resembles this: Also when I am averaging my results, I should check to see that they are in a close range. E.g. within the 3 experiments, if I get timings of 13 seconds, 12.5 seconds, and 16 seconds, I should automatically decide that 16 seconds isn't really within a close range with 13 and 12.5 seconds, and that I can get rid of that result and repeat that part of the experiment until I get results within a close/tight range. Also, seeing as this experiment is within the classroom with some groups doing the exact same experiment, it'd be a good idea to compare the results I received to the other groups. This would allow me to see wether I'm on the right track and getting similar results or not. ...read more.

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