# Investigation of the Cooling of a Liquid in Cups with Different Materials

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Investigation of the Cooling of a Liquid in Cups with Different Materials

Aim: To investigate how a liquid cools down in cups with different
materials.

Prediction: The factors which will affect the amount of heat loss are:

§ Material of the cup – Conduction

§ Surface area of cup

§ Amount of water (surface area:volume ratio)

§ If the cup has a lid or not – Convection and Evaporation

§ Room temperature

§ Thickness of the cup

§ Temperature of the liquid

§ Air movements – Convection/Evaporation

I will be investigating the material of the cup. I experimented with
four cups. These are metal, polystyrene, ceramic and plastic cups. I
predict that the metal cup will cool down the quickest and the
polystyrene cup will cool down the slowest. I think the ceramic cup
will cool down second slowest and the plastic cup will cool second
fastest.

Reasons: I think that the metal cup will cool down the quickest
because metal is a good conductor. This will mean the metal will
conduct the heat from the water to the outside surface of the metal
and from that point the heat evaporates and goes into the air. I think
that the polystyrene cup will cool down the slowest because it has
pockets of air and air is a good insulator. This will mean that the
heat will stay in the cup and can only escape by rising to the surface
of the water using convection and then it goes by evaporating. I think
the ceramic cup will cool down second slowest because it has some air
particles in it but not as much as the polystyrene cup so it will cool
down a little faster than the polystyrene cup. I think the plastic cup
will cool down second fastest because plastic is a better conductor
than ceramic and polystyrene but not as good as metal.

[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]Diagram: Metal Cup

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### Related Searches

Polystyrene cup Ceramic cup Plastic cup

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Thermometer

60ml of hot water at 75°C

Stop Watch

Method:

1. Get all equipment and set up as shown in the diagram.

2. When pouring the water try and get the same amount in each cup.
Also be careful when pouring the hot water, keep the cups away
from the edge of the table and be careful not to tip a cup over
when leaning over to check the temperature.

3. Record the temperature after every minute for each cup. At the
beginning make sure the start temperature is 75°C for each cup.

4. Record the results on a table.

5. Repeat this method three times and get an average of each
minutes’ temperature for each cup.

Results and Graphs:

Experiment 1

Time (mins)

Temperature of water in metal cup (°C)

Temperature of water in polystyrene cup (°C)

Temperature of water in ceramic cup (°C)

Temperature of water in plastic cup (°C)

0

75

75

75

75

1

74

73

72

71

2

69

69

70

68

3

60

66

63

60

4

62

63

60

63

5

60

61

56

60

6

59

60

53

58

7

58

59

49

57

8

56

57

47

55

9

55

56

46

53

10

54

55

46

52

[IMAGE]

Experiment 2

Time (mins)

Temperature of water in metal cup (°C)

Temperature of water in polystyrene cup (°C)

Temperature of water in ceramic cup (°C)

Temperature of water in plastic cup (°C)

0

75

75

75

75

1

72

75

73

70

2

69

70

71

67

3

65

65

69

64

4

62

63

66

62

5

60

61

64

59

6

57

59

63

58

7

56

58

62

55

8

54

57

60

54

9

53

56

57

52

10

52

56

55

50

[IMAGE]

Experiment 3

Time (mins)

Temperature of water in metal cup (°C)

Temperature of water in polystyrene cup (°C)

Temperature of water in ceramic cup (°C)

Temperature of water in plastic cup (°C)

0

75

75

75

75

1

70

71

73

71

2

67

68

72

68

3

63

65

69

65

4

61

63

67

63

5

58

61

66

60

6

58

60

63

59

7

57

59

61

57

8

56

57

60

55

9

54

56

58

54

10

52

55

57

53

[IMAGE]

Averages of the three experiments

Time (mins)

Temperature of water in metal cup (°C)

Temperature of water in polystyrene cup (°C)

Temperature of water in ceramic cup (°C)

Temperature of water in plastic cup (°C)

0

75

75

75

75