Does a Terra Cotta Pot or Aluminum Foil Convect Heat Better?
By: Cass, Rachel & Chantel
For our first experiment we used the pop can inside a terra cotta pot to keep in the heat. To see what would happen, we performed a second experiment, swapping the terra cotta pot for aluminum foil shaped into the same dimensions as the first pot. While keeping it otherwise controlled (identical tests) we just swapped the container to see if insulating with the terra cotta is more effective than radiating the heat back in using tin foil. We used logger pro and a thermometer to graph how the heat stays in using the two different materials.
We had predicted that the aluminum foil would keep in the heat better than the terra cotta pot. We came to this conclusion because aluminum foil is a good form of radiation. When we tested our experiment we were surprised to find the terra cotta pot kept the heat in better. With a 22 degree difference. The terra pot heated the water to 59 degrees. While the aluminum foil heated the water to 37.7 degrees in 10 minutes.
If we were to further our experiment we would use a styrofoam container in the same dimensions as the terra cotta pot and aluminum foil. With our findings that show that convection of the heat works better than radiating it back, we predict that the styrofoam would most likely work better than the aluminum foil.