Ice Cubes on a Conductor and an Insulator

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 15 Nov 2009

2 Ice Cubes: one is placed on a cork mat (an insulator) and one on a metal surface (conductor). Because the metal is a conductor it is able to conduct thermal energy to the ice cube (and take it from the surroundings) much more quickly than the cork mat. The ice cube on the metal has completely melted while the cork mat has hardly made a dent.

This experiment also demonstrates that air (as with any gas) is a good insulator. If air was a good conductor, then the ice on the metal might have melted marginally faster; the effect would not be nearly so pronounced.

The video plays at 16 times normal speed; the ice cube on the metal took just over 8 minutes to melt.

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Convection Comic

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 15 Nov 2009
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This is a comic without the pictures – it is intended that the pupils will draw the pictures in as we go along. This describes how a convection current happens, step-by-step.

Conduction

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 12 Nov 2009

Liquid Nitrogen and a Balloon

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 10 Nov 2009

This demonstrates Charles’ Law: gases expand when they are heated. The other way of looking at this is that the volume of a gas is reduced when it gets colder. This explains the driving force behind convection. When a gas (or liquid) gets hotter it expands, so it gets less dense and rises. Later, when it cools, its density increases again and it sinks.

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Marvin & Milo: Microwave Soap

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 9 Nov 2009

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Marvin & Milo: Convection Snake

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 9 Nov 2009

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Marvin & Milo: Melting Race

Posted in AQA GCSE P1a, P1a: Thermal Energy by Mr A on 9 Nov 2009