Size of beaker and cooling

The speed or rate at which water cools depends on a number of variables which can easily be investigated. The method below can be used to investigate how the size of the beaker affects cooling.

Experiment 2 Size of the beaker


  • Measuring cylinder
  • Thermometer
  • 50ml,  100ml, 250ml 400ml and 600ml beakers.
  • Stopwatch
  • Kettle


  1. Boil the kettle.
  2. Put 50ml of hot water into the 50 ml beaker.
  3. Using the thermometer measure the temperature at the start and then every 30 seconds for 5 minutes.
  4. Repeat this with the 100ml, 250ml, 400ml and 600ml beakers.

Risk Assessment

Boiling water can scald. Care must be taken when pouring the water into the measuring cylinder. The measuring cylinder will also become very hot so take care when pouring the hot water into the beaker. Do not sit at the work bench, if hot water is spilled it may go into your lap. Spilled water can also cause a slipping hazard, to prevent this clean up spillages promptly.

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