Flowing Heat. 4 th grade science experiment. Matt Weisenberger, [email protected] University of Kentucky, Center for Applied Energy Research 2540 Research Park Dr., Lexington, KY 40511 859-257-0322. Overview. What is Heat? Three Experiments (1) Thermal Diffusivity
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Thermal diffusivity tells us how fast heat is conducted through a material. Materials such as copper and steel conduct heat faster than materials such as wood and plastic.
wax melts 2nd
wax melts 3rd
wax melts 1st
Heat-energy causes the atoms of a material to vibrate. As they vibrate, they push each other apart. This causes the material to expand.
- copper: 8 ft long, about ¼ inch diameter, bendable
- aluminum: 8 ft long, about ¼ inch diameter
●The more the flag spins, the greater the thermal expansion of the metal tube, thus:
1. Aluminum has the highest thermal expansion
2. Copper has the least thermal expansion
The amount of heat-energy necessary to raise the temperature of 1g of a material 1ºC.
1. Weigh three rods, of exactly the same size, made of plastic, graphite, and copper and heat to 100ºC in boiling water.
2. Using tongs or tweezers drop one of the materials into 100ml of water that is at room temperature.
3. Measure the temperature increase of the water for 1 minute.
4. Repeat for the other two materials.
Materials for most of these experiments can be purchased from hardware stores and scientific equipment suppliers such as Fisher Scientific and Ward’s. Another excellent source is McMaster Carr (www.macmaster.com)