The way in which a material cools down or warms up is of great interest to scientists. Investigating cooling can lead to useful information about materials which can keep us warm or materials which stop us from burning ourselves when using hot objects eg. in the kitchen.

The following graphs have been drawn from the results of ‘cooling investigations’.

Hot water has been allowed to cool down and the temperature has been recorded every 5 minutes for up to 2 hours

Each dot or point on the graph tells us the temperature after a certain time in the experiment.

The temperature of the water is 60 degC at the start but gradually drops to about 25 degC and then the temperature remains the same (constant temperature).

A container of hot water or any hot object will lose heat to the air around it and the temperature will drop.

It will continue losing heat until it has the same temperature as the surrounding air so if the room temperature is 25 degC the water will cool to this temperature then remain at a constant 25 degC.

cooling curve102

How good are different types of cloth at keeping heat in?

This is a really important question since we need to make clothes out of the correct materials in order to keep us warm - especially if we wanted to visit a really cold country.

We can find out which is the best type of cloth to keep heat in by wrapping a piece of cloth around a container of hot water and measuring the temperature as time proceeds.

A material which is good at keeping in the heat will keep the temperature higher for longer.

cooling curves102
cooling curves302

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