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Scienece Column Article

Category: Physics Pages: 3 Type: Article Level: Undergraduate
This device operates in such a way that it is insulated to minimize the loss of heat to the surrounding. Within some essential temperature variance, it is easy to understand the hotness or coldness of something by simply touching it. However, it is unreliable if you place one of your hands in cold water, and the other into hot water, then you plunge both into warm water. You will note the difference, one hand will detect that the water is hot, while the other will experience some cold. In other aspects, when something is too hot to hold or even touch, we usually get an impression of how hot the substance is by approaching it and detecting the radiant heat it emits. if there is an increase in temperature, the substance glows hot. The major problem with such subjective feelings of heat is that, they are different for various persons. If two hands transmit different messages pertaining the hotness or coldness of a substance, how about a group of people? Obviously, they will report varied responses. In illustrating the flow of heat, an experiment was set up, whereby a pan of water was placed on a hot glowing fire and the temperature observed over time. It was noted that, their was steady increase in time, reflecting the transfer of heat from the fire, up to the moment the water started boiling, whereby the temperature remained constant for a long period. The steam emitted had same temperatures as the boiling water. So, what actually happened to the heat transferred from the fire to the pan of water? It was found out that, heat was needed to change the form of water from the liquid to the gaseous form/steam. In-fact, a high amount of heat is required to change the state of water to steam form, approximately 540 calories per gram. This is far much