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Thread: Need help with science assignment

  1. #1
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    Red face Need help with science assignment

    Holla!
    I hate science so I am just doing an easy experiment for year 10 SRP. I'm just seeing how long it takes for ice to melt when in a container when wrapped with foil, another one with paper towel and then a constant/controlled variable.

    I was expecting and my hypothesis was that the foil would keep the ice frozen for longer because it would just reflect instead of absorb. But to my surprise the paper towel kept it frozen for longest, I was totally shook

    I am just wondering why this happens? As I'll need to explain it in my presentation but I have absolutely no idea why it happened.

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    Re: Need help with science assignment

    Aluminium foil is generally used to trap heat, and it could be that any heat energy trapped inside or coming in from the outside is bouncing around on the inside and heating up the ice.

    The other thing is that water has what is called a high specific heat capacity (you will learn this in preliminary and HSC level chemistry if you choose to do it). What this means is that it takes a relatively large amount of heat to warm up 1g of water by 1 degree celsius. On the other hand, a metal is very electrically and thermally conductive and has a much lower specific heat capacity (so it heats up faster). If water was absorbed into the paper towel after it condensed on the container, heat would be absorbed by the paper towel more than the aluminium foil. Do some thorough research on the topic and explain that it wasn't inline with your hypothesis.

    On a side note, the term you're looking for with the container with no foil or paper towel is a 'control.' This is different to a controlled variable or a constant.

    Controlled variables - the things you must keep the same for a valid experiment. For example, the ice must be frozen for the same time in each container and the outside environment must be the same.

    Constant - I would generally use this term to denote a variable in an equation with a constant value (for example in y = mx + b where b is the constant)

    Control - The part of an experiment where the independent variable isn't taken into account.

    So if I do an experiment where I test the efficiency of different types of fertiliser (ind. variable), the controlled variables would include same soil, same volume of water, etc. Lets say I test three different fertilisers so I have 3 pots. I need to add a control however (making 4 pots). This control will have NO fertiliser at all to see the normal height of the plant. Its important to use the right terminology in science.

    About the original problem though, for an SRP its OK to just do some basic research and theorise why that might have happened. As long as you prove or disprove a hypothesis and provide POSSIBLE reasons it should be fine. Make sure you write that it could be this, or that, etc.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Need help with science assignment

    I can't thank you enough! I really appreciate you!! haha as you may notice I am not very good at and do not like science.

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