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Natural cooling of hot water: An experimental study in thermal processes

Author(s): Vasudeva Rao Aravind | Mehmet Goksu | Hope Miller | John W. Heard

Journal: Latin-American Journal of Physics Education
ISSN 1870-9095

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 552;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Thermodynamics | heat transfer | introductory physics.

Experiments in thermodynamics and heat transfer are common in any undergraduate introductory physics laboratory course. In this paper, we discuss an experiment to quantify thermal conduction coefficient of objects using simple laboratory tools. We experimentally observe the temperature drop of a hot cup of water placed in a closed container in ambient room temperature. By observing this temperature change, and by carefully modeling the heat losses from various parts of the container, we show that we can extract thermal conduction coefficient of the material of the cup, with reasonable accuracy.
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