The Newton's Law of Cooling model computes the temperature of an object of mass M as it is heated by a flame and cooled by the surrounding medium. The model assumes that the temperature T within the object is uniform. This lumped system approximation is valid if the rate of thermal energy transfer within the object is faster than the rate of thermal energy transfer at the surface. Users can select the mass or volume of the object and the type of material, and the model computes the temperature as a function of time. The model plots this temperature as a function of time as the user heats and cools the object. It is a supplemental simulation for an article by William Dittrich, Leonid Minkin, and Alexander S. Shapovalov "Measuring the Specific Heat of Metals by Cooling" in the The Physics Teacher 48 (8), 531-533 (2010).
The object heats and cools by exchanging thermal energy with the surrounding fluid by convection and this energy exchange is proportional to the difference between the object's surface temperature Ts and the temperature of the fluid Tf. Inside the object the thermal energy is transported by diffusion. The temperature inside is uniform if thermal energy transfer within the object is faster than thermal energy transfer at the surface.
The Newton's Law of Cooling model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. Double clicking the ejs_heat_NewtonLawOfCooling.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.
Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.5 of
Heating and Cooling Model for Teachers
A customizable heating and cooling simulation that allows teachers to set the display parameters. The customized simulation is automatically saved with associated curricular in a new jar file that can be redistributed. download 1136kb .jar
Last Modified: June 9, 2012
Heating and Cooling Model for Teachers: Additional Documentation Regarding Customization
A pdf file that provides additional documentation regarding customization of this simulation. download 184kb .pdf
Published: July 12, 2012
Heating and Cooling Middle School Lesson Plan
A middle school science lesson plan that uses to Newton's Law of Cooling model to explain why we must continually heat our houses in winter and cool them in summer. download 46kb .pdf
Published: October 10, 2010
Rights: Copyright by Barbara Christian. Free for non-commercial use with attribution.
Heating and Cooling Middle School Lesson Plan Key
Answer key with screen shots for the middle school science lesson plan. download 74kb .pdf
Published: October 10, 2001
Rights: Copyright Barbara Christian. Free for non-commercial use with attribution.
Newton's Law of Cooling Source Code
The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Newton's Law of Cooling model. Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS. download 22kb .zip
Last Modified: June 24, 2010
Heating and Cooling Model for Teachers Source Code
The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Customizable Heating and Cooling Model. Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS. download 117kb .zip
Last Modified: June 9, 2012
3-5: 4D/E1a. Heating and cooling can cause changes in the properties of materials, but not all materials respond the same way to being heated and cooled.
4E. Energy Transformations
3-5: 4E/E2a. When warmer things are put with cooler ones, the warmer things get cooler and the cooler things get warmer until they all are the same temperature.
3-5: 4E/E2b. When warmer things are put with cooler ones, heat is transferred from the warmer ones to the cooler ones.
3-5: 4E/E2c. A warmer object can warm a cooler one by contact or at a distance.
6-8: 4E/M2. Energy can be transferred from one system to another (or from a system to its environment) in different ways: 1) thermally, when a warmer object is in contact with a cooler one; 2) mechanically, when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance; 3) electrically, when an electrical source such as a battery or generator is connected in a complete circuit to an electrical device; or 4) by electromagnetic waves.
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)
4. THE PHYSICAL SETTING
E. Energy Transformations
4E (3-5) #2. When warmer things are put with cooler ones, the warm ones lose heat and the cool ones gain it until they are all at the same temperature. A warmer object can warm a cooler one by contact or at a distance.
4E (9-12) #3. Transformations of energy usually produce some energy in the form of heat, which spreads around by radiation or conduction into cooler places. Although just as much total energy remains, its being spread out more evenly means less can be done with it.
%0 Computer Program %A Christian, Wolfgang %D June 5, 2010 %T Newton's Law of Cooling Model %7 1.0 %8 June 5, 2010 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10071&DocID=1667
Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.