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January 6, 2015 AT 5:00 am

Why Does the Floor Feel Cold When the Towel Feels Warm? #makereducation

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This experiment from Scientific American, is a great way to explore the basics of thermodynamics:

Introduction
Thanks to our sense of touch, we can all tell the difference between hot and cold. But does the same temperature always feel the same? Have you ever noticed that the bathroom tile feels very cold to your bare feet but your towel, which has been hanging in the same room, feels warm? Why is there such a difference? Try this fun activity and find out!

Background
First we need to consider energy. Heat is a form of energy. When an object gains heat the object’s molecules gain kinetic energy and they move faster. Temperature is the objective measure of the average speed of the molecules.

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