Research Question and Hypothesis

Which type of surface will absorb and radiate heat the fastest: soil or water?

Which type color will absorb and radiate heat the fastest: dark or light?

Standards

Earth Science:

4.  Energy enters Earth system primarily as solar radiation and eventually escapes as heat.

5. Heating of Earth's surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans producing winds and ocean currents.

Experimental Design

The effects of the sun's radiation vary depending on the type of surface.  In this investigation, students will compare the effect of heat absorption and radiation on objects on different colors and reflectivity.

They will investigate absorption and radiation on two different types of surfaces:  land, represented by soil, and ocean, represented by water.

Dependent variables

Dependent variables are the color of the first two containers (light and dark) and the contents of the second two containers (soil and water).

Constants and Controls

The distance of the containers from the heat lamp is held constant.   The control is a stand-alone thermometer that is not placed inside a container.

Materials

• heat lamp (incandescent bulb of at least 100 watts)
• 1 16 0z silver metal container painted black topped with foam lid that has a slit to hold thermometer
• 1 16 0z silver metal container topped with foam lid that has a slit to hold thermometer
• 1 16 oz glass container filled 2/3 full with dark soil
• 1 16 oz glass container filled 2/3 full with water
• 5 thermometers
• stopwatch
• 1 data table and graph

Procedures

See attached Procedure sheet below

2 min 4 min 6 min 8 min  10 min  12 min 14 min 16 min  18 min 20 min  black can 22  30  34   36 38   33  29  26 25   24  shiny can  22 23  34   25  26  26  25 24   22  22  water can  20 20   20  21  21 21   21  21 21  21   soil can  22 23  23  23   24 24  24  24   24 24

See attached graphs worksheets below

Analysis & Conclusions

The data shows that dark materials absorb heat faster than light materials, and that soil absorbs heat faster than water.

Photos & Movies

References

Here is a digital quiz for students to take.

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Pam Collins,
Dec 6, 2011, 9:12 PM
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Pam Collins,
Dec 6, 2011, 9:12 PM
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Pam Collins,
Dec 6, 2011, 9:12 PM