Brother Gregory Investigates End
End Brother Gregory's Dinner
Left Return


Research Assistant Wanted

Brother Gregory wants you to help him find answers to various questions about energy and energy related subjects. In these investigations he will ask you a question and give you the tools to find the answer. You then become his research assistant. You must carry out the experiment, gather data, analyze your results and give Brother Gregory the answer he seeks. (Hint: If you run into trouble, ask his mother for help!).


A Hot Bowl of Soup on a Cold Day

"Ouch, that soup's hot!" exclaimed Brother Matthew, throwing down his spoon and grabbing a glass of cold water. "I just burnt my tongue!"
"I just took it off the stove," Brother Victor told him as he wiped his hands on a damp cloth. "It's my best nnnn, and it should be served hot."
"My soup is fine," Brother Gregory couldn't help adding, "but then I was late and my soup has been sitting on the table for several minutes." Then a dreamy look came over his face, a look his friends knew well; Brother Gregory was thinking.

"Ooops," smiled Brother Matthew, seeing the look on his friend's face, "we are in for one of Mendel's ideas. What is it now, Brother?"

"Well," said Mendel slowly, stirring the remaining soup in his bowl with his spoon. "I wonder how long a bowl of soup takes to cool?"
"Not long," answered Brother Victor, the monastery cook. "On the table it only takes a few minutes, but if you put it by the window on a cold day, it cools faster."

"Does it now?" murmured Brother Gregory, still staring deeply into his cooling soup. "I wonder..."

B Which is how Brother Gregory's latest investigation got started. He wants you, his research assistant, to find out for him how liquids cool down. What factors are important, (starting temperature, room temperature, type of liquid)? Do hot liquids cool faster than warm liquids? Will a warm liquid reach room temperature faster than a hot liquid?


Tools of the Trade

In order to carry out this investigation you will need to follow the temperature of a sample of liquid as it cools down from a higher temperature (starting temperature) to a lower temperature (usually, room temperature).

The piece of equipment you use is very simple; a small beaker of the hot liquid and a thermometer.

Start Here Cool the Liquid
begin using the simulation to find how the soup cools.

Need Help?

Try asking Mendel's Mother.

Ask Mendel's Mother

© 1998 Professor John Blamire
Science at a Distance