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Homework Help: Convection or conduction?

  1. Oct 16, 2009 #1
    The other day I was at a football match and I had a cup of tea in a styrofoam cup. The tea was practically boiling - far too hot to drink, but the cup was only warm to the touch. I know that if the tea had been in a china cup or mug it would hve been uncomfortably hot to pick up.
    Why does the styrofoam cup not transfer heat very well?. Is it because convection is impeded by all the air bubbles inside the foam or is it because the plastic material from which it is made is not a good conductor of heat? (or is it a combination of the 2?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2009 #2


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    It is the combination of two.
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