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Thermodynamic of Coffee?

  1. Jan 23, 2004 #1
    I'm doing a physics portion of an International Baccalaureate (IB) Group IV project. I'm supposed to prepare a short presentation of the thermodynamics of coffee, and I need things to talk about. IDeas I have so far:

    -heat dissipation, with and without the cardboard ring, of a cup of Starbucks coffee
    -heat difference between various types of coffee (requires a lot of experimental data ; )
    -effects of cream and sugar on coffee temperature

    What else can I talk about, and how can I easily gather data on the various topics? I don't mind doing some number-crunching, but large amount of experimental data would be tricky- Starbucks coffee is expensive ;-P
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2004 #2


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    While measuring heat-loss, you could do a comparative heat-loss/time chart between regular and decaff, in an attempt to determine the thermal conductivity of caffein.

    If there is any noticable difference, you could then pass an ellectrical current through both, to establish wether there is a relationship between thermal and ellectrical conductivity.


    Do not attempt to drink the coffee during part two of the above experiment!
  4. Jan 23, 2004 #3
    You could gather all sorts of data on coffee rings. Those little rings left on the counter from evaporated coffee. It doesn’t have much to do with thermodynamics, except that evaporation is purely a thermodynamic effect. And the explanation of how those rings are formed is pretty neat. I can give it if you’d like. Then you could perform tests to see how big you can the rings and what factors they are dependent on. Sorry that’s all I could think of
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