Do you ever put a hot drink in a mug to keep it warm? When it is cold outside, do you put on a hat to keep warm? We do these types of things because mugs and hats are insulators, materials that keep heat in. Other materials, such as metal, are good conductors, materials that transfer heat from the source very well. You may have experienced the conductivity of metal if you’ve touched a spoon that had been in a very hot bowl of soup, or sat on a metal seatbelt that had been in the sun.
In this activity, you will
Compare temperature readings from two different cups when hot or cold water is added to them.
Determine which material is a better conductor, and which is a better insulator.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):
Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
List of materials and equipment
Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.