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Newton's Law of Cooling Model Documents

This material has 7 associated documents. Select a document title to view a document's information.

Main Document

Newton's Law of Cooling Model 

written by Wolfgang Christian

This interactive simulation is designed to help students visualize heat transfer and build a foundation to understand specific heat and thermal properties of matter. As an object of uniform temperature is heated by a flame and cooled by the surrounding medium, the model computes the temperature as a function of time. Students can choose from three materials: copper, aluminum, or iron. They can also select values for mass and volume of the object. 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.

Editor's Note: See Annotations for content support on the topics of heat, temperature, and specific heat capacity.

This simulation was developed to supplement an article by William Dittrich, "Measuring the specific heat of metals by cooling", which has been accepted for publication in The Physics Teacher (TPT).  

This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.

Last Modified July 22, 2013

This file has previous versions.

Supplemental Documents (4)

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.

Last Modified June 9, 2012

This file has previous versions.

Heating and Cooling Model for Teachers: Additional Documentation Regarding Customization 

A pdf file that provides additional documentation regarding customization of this simulation.

Published July 12, 2012
Last Modified August 9, 2012

This file is included in the full-text index.
This file has previous versions.

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.

Copyright by Barbara Christian.  Free for non-commercial use with attribution.

Published October 10, 2010
Last Modified October 12, 2010

This file is included in the full-text index.
This file has previous versions.

Heating and Cooling Middle School Lesson Plan Key 

Answer key with screen shots for the middle school science lesson plan.

Copyright Barbara Christian.  Free for non-commercial use with attribution.

Published October 10, 2001
Last Modified October 12, 2010

This file is included in the full-text index.

Source Code Documents (2)

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.

Last Modified June 24, 2010

This file has previous versions.

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.

Last Modified June 9, 2012

This file has previous versions.