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# What makes a good insulator and why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Insulation Coursework What makes a good insulator and why? Design an experiment to show which materials are good insulators Experiment I am going to conduct an experiment to find out what materials are the best conductors by heating a certain amount of water to a certain and controlled temperature with a kettle and measure the temperature with a thermometer, I will use the same temperature and amount of water with each test, I will then put that heated water into a copper pot, this I will also keep the same, the copper pot will then have a cork with a small hole in, for the thermometer, placed into the copper pot, the temperature will then be taken every minute till a certain limit. The results will then be compared with various covers as well as a copper pot without insulation, this will then help to tell me what materials make good insulators. To keep this experiment a fair test I will always keep the following the same after I have found ideal figures with my preliminary work:- The same amount of water The same temperature of water The ...read more.

Middle

Why? Thickness Reduce Heat Loss More Air Trapped Water Amount More Water = More Heat Energy Greater mass = more area to cool Water Starting Temperature High Temp = More Heat Loss Bigger Range Preliminary Experiments 50ml of Water at 65*C in a small copper container, no insulation Time (minutes) Temperature (*c) 0 65 1 63 2 60 3 58 4 55 5 53 6 53 7 52 8 52 9 50 10 48 11 47 12 46 13 45 14 44 15 43 Time has now been limited to 10 minutes as onwards of that point shows little activity 30ml of water at 65*C in a small copper container, no insulation Time (minutes) Temperature (*c) 0 65 1 62 2 59 3 56 4 55 5 53 6 51 7 50 8 48 9 46 10 45 80ml of water at 75*C in a small copper container, no insulation Time (minutes) Temperature (*c) 0 75 1 72 2 70 3 68 4 66 5 65 6 63 7 62 8 61 9 60 10 59 Experiment 50ml of water at 75*C in a small copper container, no insulation Time (minutes) ...read more.

Conclusion

The water start temperature may have been recorded improperly. 2. The thermometer used may have been different than the one used with the insulated pots, this may have caused the problem. 3. The copper pot may have been different 4. The lid may not have been fit properly/ amount of time the thermometer was absent from the hole 5. The water inside of the pot in the original experiment might not have been stirred, as the temperature will have differed in different places 6. The room temperature may have been different than, this is likely to have caused the difference. 7. The copper pot may have been colder/warmer than usual to start 8. Or a mixture of all of these. The eye level may not have been level with the meniscus of the thermometer and/or the measuring cylinder, this is vitally important as the temperature may have been read up to 2-3 *c wrong, and the measuring cylinder perhaps 3-4ml out, this may not sound like a dramatic difference, but together, they may have caused the results. This is why it would have been important to conduct all of the experiments on the same day with the exact same equipment while giving time for the pots to cool. ...read more.

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