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Principles of warming and cooling

  1. Dec 20, 2014 #1
    Say there is a cup of coffee at 80ºC and you allow it to cool down. Eventually the cup of coffee will become at room temperature (if anyone knows the equation for this fluctuations of temperatures I'd love to see it) what is causing it to go from these temperatures? What are the principles are causing the rise and fall of temperatures, what property causes it stop decrease from it's initial temperature and then stay at room temperature? Must all things level out temperature wise?

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2014 #2


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  4. Dec 21, 2014 #3


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  5. Dec 21, 2014 #4


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  6. Dec 21, 2014 #5
    Thank you russ_watters that cleared a lot up!
  7. Dec 22, 2014 #6
    A key concept to understand is thermal equilibrium which is the process that is used when the cup of coffee goes down to the temperature of the room the air and the coffee are in fact exchanging exchanging energy (heat) to try and get to a balance where it takes no effort to maintain its heat. e.g the coffee exchanges it's heat to the air to try and balance the difference between them, the coffee once it reaches the same temperature as the air no longer needs to work to maintain it's heat it gets it from the air/environment around it and is at a thermal equilibrium.
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