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Heating and Cooling Investigation

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Heating and Cooling Investigation

Aim- to find out if different sized cans affect the temperature of
140ml of boiled water, when they are left alone to cool.

In this experiment, I will be using two different sized cans (one 12cm
tall holding 330ml and another 9cm tall holding 150ml). I will be
seeing if each can keeps the boiled water warm for a period of time
and testing to find out which one is the best.

Fair Test

To make this a fair test, I will have to do many things. Firstly, I
will use the same amount of water (140ml) at the same temperature, as
it will have to start at the same temperature to keep it fair and also
have the same amount of water to test on. It will also have a roughly
similar amount of particles. I will also put them in the same room
together so the room temperature will be the same. The cans are made
of the same material (aluminium) because I am testing surface area
rather than different materials. I will use a water bath to heat the
water so both cans will get the same temperature of water. This is how
I will make it a fair test.


The method I will be using is; I will boil 140ml of water for each can
in a water bath at 80oC. Then put the 140 ml in each of the cans at
the same time. I will check each temperature every minute for fifteen
minutes. I will then have a set of results.




I predict that the big can with the larger surface area will keep the
water the warmest. I think this because large animals' surface area to
volume ratio causes very little heat loss where as small animals ratio
is better for heat loss. It is also known that larger things such as
animals cool down slower.

Therefore this shows why I predict that the large can will keep the
water the warmest.

Table of Results

Time (mins)

Temp (large)

Temp (small)















































From this experiment I can clearly see the small can cools quickest
and the big can cools slowest.

After 15 minutes the big can cooled to 55° whereas the small can
cooled to 52°c.


I have found a trend in both sets of results. Both lines have a
negative correlation and move down in small steps of one two or three.


From my experiment I can conclude that the large can is better for
concealing heat. This proves my prediction that the big can would be
better. The can conducts heat and it is bigger so more conduction can
take place. Convection inside the cans keeps the hot air in, as in the
big can it will not rise out as the can is too big. Also this proves
the point that large animal conceal heat more which is what happened
in my experiment. The particles also slow down as they are not using
as much energy.

This concludes what I have found out.


I feel that my experiment went well and was a success. It was a fair
test and proved my prediction. I feel the test went well as it was
accurate although I didn't have enough time to repeat it. However I
didn't find any anomalous results. For my method to be better I could
add some aluminium on top, where the holes to drink from are so that
no air could escape.

For next time to improve my method I would firstly repeat the test,
one or two more times to get better, fairer results. I might use more
measurements, e.g. up to 20 minutes and even see how long it takes to
cool to room temperature. Overall I think that the experiment went
really well and I have found out a lot. For further research I could
use different amounts of water and different size cans. I could also
use can made of different materials.

Overall the test was a success.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Heating and Cooling Investigation." 07 Dec 2016

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