PHYSICS EXPERIMENTAL REPORT RESEARCH QUESTION

PHYSICS EXPERIMENTAL REPORT
RESEARCH QUESTION:
What affect do materials such as cotton wool, dacron filling and water have on the temperature
change of hot, boiled water inside the cans over the time of 10 minutes?

RATIONALE:
The modification in this experiment is the type of insulating material used. Unlike the original
experiment, cotton wool is used as the insulator instead of newspaper. This modification improves
the experiment by testing the theory that low density, air trapping materials make good insulators,
since the fibres in the wool trap air and prevents heat transfer through it. It is a much better choice
for this experiment, as newspaper does not have air trapping features and has a higher density than
cotton wool. This scientific theory is the reason for using cotton wool as the insulator. Like every
experiment, there are risks and safety hazards that come with this experiment, however, they can be
handled effectively. Getting burnt with boiling water was the main hazard of this experiment
followed by the risk of dropping and breaking glass. The risk of getting burnt with boiling water can
be reduced by wrapping the beaker with paper towel when pouring the water into the cans and also
being cautious at all times, to avoid running into people or objects. Dropping and breaking glass can
be prevented by keeping beakers and thermometers in the centre of the bench at all times and away
from the edge.
PROCEDURE:
Firstly, all the equipment was collected to conduct the experiment. 150ml of boiling water was
measured with a beaker and poured into each of the three cans, using a funnel. The cans were then
put into four separate two-litre ice cream containers. The insulating materials; cotton wool, dacron
filling and water were placed in the space between the can and the ice cream container, surrounding
the can tightly. One container had no insulator, as it was the control. Each container had a different
insulator. The starting temperature was then recorded and the temperature of water in the four
cans were recorded every one minute for ten minutes. After then ten minutes, the materials such as
the cans, containers and thermometres were cooled and the experiment was repeated. Results were
recorded.

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