Newton’s Law of Cooling Experiment


This experiment will enable you to test Newton’s law of cooling. Temperature probe readings will be recorded regularly over time to compare against time spent cooling water.

Newton’s law asserts that an object’s temperature change rate is proportional to its difference from its surroundings if they differ only marginally.


Newton’s law of cooling is a thermodynamic principle that states that the rate at which an object loses heat is directly proportional to its difference from its surroundings in temperature. This law helps us predict how long it will take a hot thing to cool down – for instance when boiling water for tea it usually takes several minutes until its temperature has fallen back down below that of surrounding air temperature for drinking purposes.

Newton’s law of cooling applies to anybody exposed to convective, radiative, or conductive heat transfer; however, it only works if there is a minimal temperature difference between its surroundings and that of its body during the cooling processes. Furthermore, Newton’s law also assumes that surrounding temperatures remain constant during this process, although this assumption can be simplified significantly.

The temperature of an object can be calculated as the sum of its kinetic and potential energies, including its movement-related kinetic energy (k) and potential energy (p). Kinetic energy refers to the energy gained through movement or vibration, while potential energy stems from its location in space and mass; consequently, when the cooling of an object occurs, more k than potential energy is lost as its temperature falls.

Conductive cooling uses materials with specific heat capacities to determine an object’s temperature. At the same time, its environment also plays an integral part as this affects how much heat can be transferred between objects and their surrounding environments.

Convective and radiative heat transfer determine the temperature of an object by adding up its kinetic and potential energy, while radiation depends upon both material temperature and surface temperature to reach its final destination.

Newton’s Law of Cooling for convective and radiative heat transfer provides an alternative form of Stefan-Boltzmann Law; it states that heat loss of a black body is proportional to its temperature difference with surrounding provided its temperature difference is relatively small.


Cooling involves moving heat from a body into its surroundings at an exponential rate that depends on both differences in temperature between it and its environs and exposed surface area. Furthermore, convection from surrounding environments plays a vital role in cooling. Newton’s Law of Cooling governs this process, stating that its rate is proportional to differences between objects in temperature from their environments and one another.

Cooling can be accomplished through conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction refers to the direct transfer of heat by contact; for instance, when touching a hot stove, it transfers its heat directly onto your hand through conduction. Convection refers to the bulk movement of fluid (usually liquid or gas); this happens when you turn on a fan that blows air through it which circulates as a coolant to keep you comfortable – Newton’s Law of Cooling governs convection cooling processes.

Cooling can be described by the differential equation dT/dt = -b(T-T0). Solving this equation requires you to know the initial conditions: the body’s temperature and environment must both be known before beginning this calculation. Once this information has been acquired, use it to find initial body temperatures by substituting values into this equation; alternatively, you can calculate cooling rates by dividing temperature differences by time differences.

This law is most closely observed when using only conduction for cooling purposes. However, natural convection (buoyancy-driven) cooling may approximate minor differences between body temperatures and their surroundings. Heat transfer coefficients depend on temperature, so it is challenging to formulate analytical expressions of h and a.

Newton’s law of cooling approximates convection-type cooling; however, it cannot explain radiative cooling, which occurs regardless of the object and surrounding temperatures. Stefan-Boltzmann law describes radiative cooling- directly proportional to the absolute temperature difference between the body and surroundings – much faster than any other method.


Newton’s Law of Cooling describes how quickly an object releases heat to its surroundings, with temperatures changing in proportion to any difference between its internal temperature and that of its surroundings. Convection or radiation cooling processes lead to temperature variations corresponding to this differential; their results show similar correlations.

Temperature and distance are integral in determining how quickly objects cool off, so measuring these elements during heat transfer experiments is vital to ensure accurate results. Furthermore, material type and emissivity affect an object’s cooling rate.

Hollow spheres’ cooling rates are determined by their heat capacity being less than their mass. When heat from its surroundings is radiated back onto it, thermal energy is transformed into cooling power that quickly cools it off compared to solid spheres with equal masses. In this manner, hollow spheres can cool more rapidly than their solid counterparts of comparable group.

An ice cube’s cooling rate depends on its mass and surrounding temperature. Ice absorbs heat slower due to having lower thermal energy than solid cubes, meaning they cannot dissipate heat as quickly.

An object’s temperature can still fluctuate rapidly if it is hotter than its surroundings due to the heat dissipating through radiation, with heat moving quickly from the body to its surroundings through radiant transference. A simple differential equation that models this phenomenon would be dT/dt = -b1(T-Ts). Here T is the temperature difference, and Ts is the ambient temperature, with positive constants such as b1, determining its cooling rate proportional to both variables.

When the temperature difference between an object and its surroundings is significant, its rate of change will likely be slow. Under these circumstances, more powerful models such as Stefan-Boltzmann law may be appropriate; its principle states that heat transfer rates between black bodies are proportional to their 4th temperature power.


Placed on a countertop, a beaker of hot water quickly cools as its heat migrates away from it to its more relaxed surroundings, initially rapidly but then slowly over time as heat loss occurs to its surroundings. This phenomenon follows from the second law of thermodynamics, which states that as temperature decreases, so does an object’s disorder; less ordered states, such as calmer waters, have more incredible energy to dissipate faster and lose heat faster as their temperature drops.

The cooling rate for any object depends on its surface area and material properties; metallic objects will usually cool more rapidly than plastic due to having a greater surface area and being a more conductive material. Furthermore, object size also plays a factor – larger objects have more significant heat loss coefficients than smaller ones.

An object may also lose heat through convection and radiation. Conductive cooling occurs when there is direct contact between body parts and their environment, such as when touching a hot stove handle; convective cooling occurs when there is bulk movement of liquid or gas, such as in a fan; radiation involves heat being transmitted as waves through space-time; this phenomenon can be witnessed when standing in sunlight where body heat radiates out into its surroundings.

Newton’s Law of Cooling provides a general guideline that describes how objects lose heat to their environment. It applies when temperature differences between the body and environment are minimal and only applies to conductive, convective, and radiant cooling, not evaporative or latent cooling methods.

Newton’s law of cooling can be expressed by the formula dQ/dt = -b1(T2-Ts), where T2 and Ts are the temperatures of both body and environment, respectively, while b1 is its heat transfer coefficient. This equation indicates that body temperatures will gradually decrease with time – its slope indicates how quickly this happens.