A Simple Heat Conduction Experiment
Obtain objects of different materials. Ideally, they would be of the same geometry, such as rods made from wood, glass, aluminum, and iron. However, materials such as plastic, wooden, and metal silverware will do. You will also need a heat source such as hot water, a stove burner, a hot plate, or a candle. To make the measurements, use a watch or some other time keeping device, and a simple thermometer. To record your results, use a spreadsheet or graph paper.
For a direct measurement, use masking or electrical tape to attach the thermometer to an object. Submerge it partially in hot water, and take time and temperature readings every few seconds. Graph the temperature versus time by placing the dependent variable, temperature, on the y axis and the independent variable, time, on the x axis. Do this for every object. Compare your results.
For indirect measurements, melt a substance such as candle wax or paraffin on the object. Slowly heat the object, and record the time it takes for the substance to melt. If you are careful, the substance can also be ice, butter, or something similar. In this case, the holder would have to be a spoon.
Remember to use caution whenever doing heat transfer experiments, as the objects and sources will be hot.
In the next part, we will look at simple experiments you can do in convection and radiation.