The Physics Behind Range Top Cooking Essay

779 words - 4 pages

Behind the use of range-top cooking devices there are many concepts that physics can explain. For example, heat is a major concept in this type of cooking. Heat is the amount of energy that is transferred from one body to another because of a difference in temperature. When heating an object, there is a raise in the internal energy, or thermal energy, of that object. This can be achieved by transferring energy from an object with a higher temperature to one with a lower temperature. The way that thermal energy is transferred in the range-top cooking device is through conduction. This method is most common in solids, like the surface of the cooking device, and is also used in such things as thermometers. The branch of physics that explores thermal energy is called thermodynamics.The kinetic-molecular theory can also help to explain how range-top cooking works. This theory says that in a hot body the particles move faster, so they have a higher energy than particles in a ...view middle of the document...

Since the particles move faster in a hotter body, when thermal equilibrium is reached, the entropy of the final state is larger than that of the initial state.Specific heat is also helpful in describing range-top cooking's relationship with physics. Specific heat is the increase in thermal energy that raises one kilogram of a substance one Kelvin. This can be calculated by using the following equation:Q = mC £TWhere Q stands for the heat gained or lost, m is the mass of the object, C is the specific heat of the substance, and £T is the change in temperature of the substance, measured in either Kelvin's or degrees Celsius.Melting and boiling points are also important concepts to know. The melting point of a substance is the temperature at which the substance changes from a solid to a liquid. The heat of fusion of a substance goes along with the melting point. Heat of fusion is the amount of energy that is needed to melt one kilogram of a substance. The amount of heat that is needed to melt a certain mass can be found by using the following equation:Q = mHfwhere the Q stands for heat required to melt the solid, m stands for the mass of the solid, and Hf stands for the heat of fusion of the solid. The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the substance changes from a liquid to a vapor, or gas. Heat of vaporization goes along with the boiling point. The heat of vaporization is the amount of energy that it takes to vaporize one kilogram of a liquid. The amount of heat needed to vaporize the liquid can be found using the following equation:Q = mHvwhere Q stands for the heat required to vaporize the substance, m stands for the mass of the substance, and Hv stands for the heat of vaporization of the substance. These applications are especially important when using range-top cooking. Say you are boiling water; you must know that the heat of vaporization of water is 2.26 x 106 so that you can use enough heat that is required to boil the amount of water that you have.These important concepts that are involved in range-top cooking are all things that are explained using physics. This proves how important physics really is in this technological, everyday device.

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