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Chill Out: How Hot Objects Cool

Figure from experiment 16 from Real-World Math with Vernier

Introduction

When you have a hot drink, you know that it gradually cools off. Newton’s law of cooling provides us with a model for cooling. It states that the temperature difference Tdiff between a hot object and its surroundings decreases exponentially with time.

{T_{diff}} = {T_0}{e^{ - kt}}

In the model T0 is the initial temperature difference, and k is a positive constant.

In this activity you will use a Temperature Probe to collect data as the warmed probe cools. You can then fit several mathematical models to the data.

Objectives

  • Record temperature versus time cooling data.
  • Model cooling data with an exponential function.

Sensors and Equipment

This activity features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Real-World Math with Vernier »

Activity 16 from Real-World Math with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Real-World Math with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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