Shape Does Matter: Effects of Cooling Rates on Shapes with Different Surface Area-to-Volume Ratios

Jacob Jones, Lauren Osterhout, Noah Mustafa, Scott Goeppner


Various animals have different surface area-to-volume ratios in order to survive in their specific climates. Does surface area-to-volume ratio affect the rate of cooling in an animal rather than size? This question has been studied, however, most studies involved varying sizes of an animal, rather than varying shapes. In order to test whether or not surface area-to-volume ratio affects the rate of cooling, we created two different clay models. We heated the clay models and measured the rate of cooling within each shape. We found that shape does in fact affect surface area-to-volume, which in return affects the rate of cooling.

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