# Color and Heat Absorption

```COLOR AND HEAT ABSORPTION
Name
Why is it more comfortable to wear light-colored clothes on a hot summer day? Why wear a dark-colored jacket
for early-morning fishing on a cold lake? How much difference can it make? Here’s an experiment that will
determine how the color of an object affects how much heat (thermal energy) it absorbs when exposed to light.
Remember, light that is absorbed by an object is usually converted into heat energy.
In this lab, two cans of water were set out in the
sun for 10 minutes. One can was painted black and
one was painted white. Each can was the same
size and contained the same amount of water.
Effect of Can Color on Absorption of Heat
Time
(min)
Temperature (ºC)
!
A thermometer was placed in each can to record
the temperature at 2 minute intervals. The
results are in the table on the right.
QUESTIONS:
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!
!
!
!
1. IV =
(can color, Temperature)
2. DV =
(can color, Temperature)
White Can
Black Can
0
20
20
2
21
23
4
23
27
6
26
33
8
29
41
10
33
50
3. Name one constant in this experiment.
4. The only variable different in the experiment was
the color of the can. Why was it important to have
only 1 variable different in the experiment?
!
5. Only 1 trial was done.
Why should they repeat this experiment?
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6. What science tool would be necessary to collect the data in this experiment?
Finish constructing the line graph(s) using the Finish
dataconstructing
in the table.
the line graph(s)
2nd... plot the black can and connect the
1st...plot the white can and connect
dots the dots
2nd... plot the black can and connect
the dots
3rd... make each line a different
color and make a key OR label
each line (white can/black can)
3rd... make each line a different
color and make a key OR label
each line (white can/black can)
CONCLUSION
Be sure to provide:
• an appropriate title
• a label for each axis with
(more, less)
appropriate
units
•an appropriate number scale
for x- and y-axis
• correctly plotted data
The temperature of the black can increased
!
!!
!
!
50
using the data in the table.
1st...plot the white can and connect the dots
than the temperature of the white can. This happened because
(darker, lighter)
while
TEMPERATURE (ºC)
!
Effect of Can Color
on Absorption of Heat
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
TIME (min)
colors absorb more of the sun’s radiant energy,
(darker, lighter)
CONCLUSION:
1) Based
on your
graph,
which can
colors reflect more
of the
sun’s
energy.
(white can, black can)
2) Why do you think one can had higher temperatures than the other? (take a guess)
9
10
1
The graph on the right shows the how the color of a
hardhat affects the temperature inside the hardhat
when left outside in the sun.
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!
!
!
EFFECT OF HARDHAT COLOR ON TEMPERATURE INCREASE
TEMPERATURE INCREASE (ºF)
a) Which color hardhat stayed the coolest?
Why?
b) Which color hardhat became the hottest?
Why?
White
c) If you are a construction worker that works
outside and needs to wear a hardhat,
which color would you suggest.?
!
Why?
1
Black
Red
Blue
Yellow
Orange
HARDHAT COLOR
2
A black and a white car are sitting in the sun all day.
Why did the black car get hotter
faster than the white car?
2
3
A black and a white
car are sitting in the
sun all day.
!
Why did the black
car get hotter than
the white car?
!
3
Jamar wants to
go fishing in the
early-morning
on a very cold lake.
Why should he wear a
dark-colored jacket?
You are sweating in
sunny day, BUT your
friend is comfortable
in her white shirt.
Why is it more comfortable to wear
light-colored clothes on a hot summer day?
4
You are sweating in
sunny day, BUT your
friend is comfortable
in her white shirt.
Why is it more comfortable to wear
light-colored clothes on a hot summer day?
5
Why does
clean snow
melt more
slowly than
dirty snow?
Why wear a
dark-colored
jacket for
early-morning
fishing on a cold
4
Why does
clean snow
melt more
slowly than
dirty snow?
```