The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why are water and steel (and other things) cooler than surrounding air?  (Read 3747 times)

DusĦan

  • Guest
DusĦan asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Good afternoon Doctor Chris,
  
Why is water and steel (and other things) cooler than surrounding air?

Thanks for your answer and point of view and for all the programmes on Thenakedscientists.  It is incredible how great your scope of knowledge is!
  
PS: I like your voice and clear accent, as well as Helen's and Kat's. On the web, you are the best programmes to listen to!

I vote for you and cross my fingers for your successful future.
  
DusĦan, Czech

What do you think?


 

Offline BenV

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1503
    • View Profile
I think this is just a result of the fact that water and steel conduct heat better than air, and so conduct the heat away from your hand.  As a result, they feel cooler.  Something that insulates well, say wood or expanded polystyrine, should feel as warm as the air.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
Indeed. Try this experiment, if steel is colder than air it should keep ice cooler for longer. Put one ice cube on a steel pan and one on a wooden chopping board or something, and see which one melts faster. I think that was done on kitchen science?
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
... Put one ice cube on a steel pan and one on a wooden chopping board or something, and see which one melts faster.
I think that was done on kitchen science?


50x Speeded up kitchen science video comparison of ice on metal frying pan and ice on wooden chopping board.
« Last Edit: 10/12/2009 17:55:27 by RD »
 

Offline syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3823
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
It would be very useful if steel plates really were cooler than the surrounding air I could use it to power my Sterling engine generator to run the lights.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums