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Temperature for soda

Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:38 pm
by doodoodoodum
Hi I am doing the project "What is the fastest way to cool a soda". I am testing how long it takes for each cooling method (fridge, freezer, ice, and ice water) to get the soda down to a certain temp.
Here are my questions.
1. Which temperature is the best to test with? (I was thinking 36 degrees but I wasn't sure.)
2. My fridge goes down to 33 degrees but I wasn't sure whether if I am testing for something above 33 degrees I should turn the temp on the fridge lower because it might not get it down to the temp I want it to.

Re: Temperature for soda

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:32 pm
by mkjacobsen
Hello doodoodoodum,

First, I like your name :D. As for your questions, the important thing to remember is that the lower the temperature you are attempting to reach, the longer it will take. You should weigh this against the accuracy of your measuring equipment. If you have a digital timer (seconds as the smallest measurement), then you should be fine for just about any measurement you make. If you are more limited (i.e. minutes) by your timer, then you should use a lower temperature as the longer time will minimize errors produced by your timer. As far as what you are testing for, you would like to see when the temperature stabilizes. Like you had said, if you have the refrigerator temperature at 33 degrees, the soda will likely not reach that temperature, but something slightly higher. If you measure the temperature every 10 minutes, you will see that the temperature reaches a low point and doesn't change much from there (remember to look up how accurate your thermometer is also).

Hope this helps and good luck!


Re: Temperature for soda

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:28 pm
by doodoodoodum
Thank you for the helpful info! :)
I am now testing how low I can get the temperature in a certain amount of time. What is a reasonable time period to get the soda to a cold temp? Such as something close to 36 degrees.

Re: Temperature for soda

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:53 am
by tdaly
Hi doodoodoodum,

mkjacobsen gave you some excellent advice. Based on your posts, I wanted to clarify what, precisely, you are measuring. Are you measuring how long it takes to cool the soda to a particular temperature? (This is what I thought based on your original post.) Or are you measuring how cold the soda is after a certain amount of time? (Which is how I read your second post.) In the first case, your data would be in units of time (e.g., it took 3 minutes for the ice to to cool the soda to 36 degrees). In the second case, your data would be in units of temperature (e.g., after 5 minutes, the ice lowered the temperature of the soda to 39 degrees). It may be easier to measure the temperature of the soda at certain time intervals (e.g., 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, etc.) instead of waiting for soda to reach a specific temperature. In either case, you will want to ensure that all of the sodas start out at the same temperature.

With regards to your question about why ice water cooled soda the fastest, can you please describe how the ice water and ice were in contact with the soda? For example, did you immerse the soda in a glass filled with ice water? Did you set some ice next to the soda? The amount of heat transferred from the soda to the ice water (or ice) over a period of time will depend on, among other things, how much surface area the ice water and ice have against the container holding the soda. In addition, did you stir the ice water at all? Or did it sit undisturbed during the experiment? Stirring the ice water would transfer heat from the soda to the ice water more efficiently because that heat could be "carried away" by the moving water. Scientists call this convection, and convection is a very efficient way to transfer heat.