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Heat retention of coffee mugs


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I am doing a jr high science experiment testing the heat retention of different types of coffee cups..styrofoam, paper, plastic,ceramic, and stainless steel. Is heat retention physics? Thermodynamics? What causes heat retention? I would like to make a really good report on this subject...does this involve intermolecular forces?? any websited to help with my research..I have done 2 trials of my experiment but want to beef up my research and report .. Thanks!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it's thermodynapics, subset of physics.

It's caused by differing rates of thermal conductivity. Intermolecular force is a good start.

There are other things involved (evaporation carries heat away because the fastest molecules are the ones that escape from the top surface of the liquid).

Start reading here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conduction_(heat)

(Note that citing an encyclopaedia in your report is not such a grand idea, maybe head down to the library and get a textbook.)

Feel free to ask some more specific questions when they come up.

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This most definitely involves intermolecular forces! What kind of approach are you looking for? Or maybe I should say, how far are you looking to dig? Qualitative observation, quantitative observation, or a more rigorous treatment?

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This most definitely involves intermolecular forces! What kind of approach are you looking for? Or maybe I should say, how far are you looking to dig? Qualitative observation, quantitative observation, or a more rigorous treatment?

 

Don't dig too deep, eventually the concept of force moons you and runs out the door. ^_^

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I am doing a jr high science experiment testing the heat retention of different types of coffee cups..styrofoam, paper, plastic,ceramic, and stainless steel. Is heat retention physics? Thermodynamics? What causes heat retention? I would like to make a really good report on this subject...does this involve intermolecular forces?? any websited to help with my research..I have done 2 trials of my experiment but want to beef up my research and report .. Thanks!!

 

he subject is called heat transfer. There are three mechanisms, convection, conduction and radiation. Material properties are central to conduction and radiation. The problem of keeping coffee hot in a cup involves all three mechanisms.

 

Heat transfer is definitely physics. However, many specialized texts are written for and by mechanical engineers.

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I am doing a jr high science experiment testing the heat retention of different types of coffee cups..styrofoam, paper, plastic,ceramic, and stainless steel. Is heat retention physics? Thermodynamics? What causes heat retention? I would like to make a really good report on this subject...does this involve intermolecular forces?? any websited to help with my research..I have done 2 trials of my experiment but want to beef up my research and report .. Thanks!!

 

This is an unsteady state heat transfer problem. The control factors are cup thickness, heat capacity and heat transfer coefficient.

Thin thickness of cup wall makes heat transfer fast. High heat capacity wall makes heat transfer slow, specially under unsteady state. High heat transfer coefficient wall makes heat transfer fast.

If you want to know the temperature variance with time, first, you set up a heat transfer equation contains these parameters, and solve it.

More deep knowledge is in the "Heat transfer" book.

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