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Chill Out: How Hot Objects Cool

Experiment #14



Memo to Detective Sergeant:

The elevator operator of the Ritz Palace Hotel died from a stab wound while on duty last Thursday evening. His body was discovered by a family on its way down to the pool. When we arrived at the scene, we canvassed the area but found nothing. The elevator is full of fingerprints of the hundreds of guests who ride it during the day. We have several suspects in mind, but we are having trouble pinning down the time of death. If we can determine that, we have a good shot at finding the killer.


  • Determine the time of death of a person who has died within the last few hours.
  • Create a temperature vs. time graph for cooling.
  • Model the temperature data with an exponential function.
  • Use the model to estimate time of death.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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