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Name: Glenn
Status: educator
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

Here is a question from a student in my class:

I would like a scientist's opinion and results for my question. How fast do room temperature liquids lose heat over a 90 second span depending on the thickness of the liquid and the amount of ice cubes in the liquid?

I don't have any results, but I'm stuffed to the gills with opinions!

1) The more ice cubes, the faster, because more surface area is available for heat exchange.

2) The thicker the liquid (I assume you mean thick like syrup is thick, not the thickness--depth--of a layer of liquid) the slower, because a thick liquid will tend to insulate the ice cubes with a layer of cold liquid that doesn't move away to make room for fresh warm liquid.

There's an important factor you didn't mention that might play in your results: how much energy does it take to raise a given liquid's temperature. Water is phenomenal in its ability to absorb a large amount of energy with a small change in temperature.

Tim Mooney

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