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Name: Alex Botvinnik
Status: N/a
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993


Question:
How come when I put a pizza in the oven, the aluminum foil does not get hot?



Replies:
It (aluminum foil) DOES get hot. In fact it gets hot much more quickly than the nearby pizza. It also cools off much more quickly, which is why we tend to think of it as not getting hot. Here is the deal: At any given temperature, aluminum holds much less energy than an equivalent mass of pizza (or an equivalent mass of human flesh--and now we are getting to the point). When you touch the aluminum foil, your hand and the foil share the thermal energy in the foil. Your hand says "big deal! It takes MUCH more energy to raise my temperature because I am made mainly of water" (and water is phenomenal in its ability to hold energy without increasing temperature much). However, it is also true that the aluminum foil is much less massive than your hand, and so part of the answer is that there is just not much foil there. And its also true that the air cools thefoil more quickly than the pizza since the foil has more surface area in addition to holding less energy per degree of temperature.

mooney



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