Lab #22.5 Heat: Chapter 22 Canned Heat: Heating Up


In this experiment, you will compare the ability of different surfaces to absorb thermal radiation.

Does the color of a surface make a difference in how well it absorbs thermal radiation? If so, how? The answer to these questions could help you decide what to wear on a hot, sunny day and what color to paint your house if you live in a hot, sunny climate. In this experiment, we will compare the thermal absorption ability of three surfaces: silver, black, and white. We'll do this by filling cans with these surfaces with water, then exposing the cans to heat lamps. We'll measure the temperature of the water in each of the cans while they're being exposed to the heat and see if there's a difference in the rate at which the temperatures increase.

Required Equipment

Heat Lamp and Base, Radiation Cans (Silver, Black, White), Thermometer, Cold Water, Paper Towel, Graph Paper.


Student Worksheet   Teacher Notes

Radiation Cans, Set of 3

In Stock SKU: PX-2084

Student Thermometer

In Stock SKU: 68-6202

The "cold water" used in this experiment is just "tap water". The "paper towels" required for this lab are any paper towels that you may already have. The "graph paper" required for this lab is readily available at your office or school supply store. Each lab would require one sheet.

Collin Wassilak

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