Investigate evaporative cooling with chemical imaging by observing a cup of water with the FLIR ONE™ thermal camera and the Thermal Analysis app. This experiment lends itself nicely to guided inquiry studies of the chemistry involved in the evaporation of water. Ideas such as the specific heat of water, number of molecules over the surface of the water, and energy can be discussed. While this experiment is typically performed with a temperature probe, it is more engaging and thought-provoking to see images of evaporation. In addition, when using the Thermal Analysis App, you are able to see the evaporation and temperature change from the entire cup of water as opposed to one isolated region where the temperature probe is located.
A more formal activity for exploring evaporative cooling involves observations of damp paper towels. Use the Thermal Analysis App to collect quantitative data without adding the thermal mass of a temperature probe to the system. Download instructions by Rhett Allain, author of Geek Physics.
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