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Design an investigation into size and the rate of heat loss.

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Design an investigation into size and the rate of heat loss. Research question: how does the rate surface are to volume ratio of a potato affect the rate of heat loss? Hypothesis: I believe that the biggest potato will have the highest rate of heat loss due to its large surface area to volume ratio. Independent variable: the size of the potato will be manipulated. Dependent variable: the rate of the reaction will be measured. Controlled variables The same potato was used. This ensured that the experiment was fair as it meant that every potato piece was the same despite the size. The water used in each of the three experiments was all the same temperature of 100�C. This increased accuracy as every potato piece was taking in heat at the same temperature. The same volume of water was used for each experiment to increase fairness. Each potato piece stayed in water for 5 minutes so as to take in heat. ...read more.


The volume and surface area were calculated through the following equations: Volume = length * width * height Surface area = area of one surface * number of surfaces. These values were shown in a table where the ratio of the surface area to the volume was found. Volume cm3 Surface area cm2 Ratio Potato 1 - 4*4*4 64 96 1 : 3 Potato 2 - 3*3*3 27 54 2 : 1 Potato 3 - 2*2*2 8 24 3 : 1 The results attained from the experiment and tabulated in the table were used to create a graph to show the relationship between the heats lost in each potato after five minutes. The graph shows that the smallest potato gained the most heat but also underwent the most heat loss in the five minutes. The first and second potatoes had similar starting and ending temperatures and thus it is difficult to distinguish between the two in the plotted graph. ...read more.


Heat was lost from the water as it was poured from the kettle to the measuring cylinder, then to the beaker. This would affect the initial temperature of the water and would mean that every potato had different starting temperatures. This would influence the amount of heat absorbed. The potatoes lost heat when removed from the beaker. This would affect the initial temperature and the rate of heat loss. The beakers were not insulated and thus lead to heat being lost through them. The apparatus contained many uncertainties. Improvements The experiment should be done in a room with a comfortable temperature and no draughts that would affect the rate of heat loss. To decrease the amount of heat lost before the start of the experiment, water should be poured directly into the beaker. The initial starting temperature should be the same for each experiment. The beakers should be lagged so as to insulate them and prevent heat lost through them. The school should purchase more accurate apparatus. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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