Imagine it’s a hot summer day. You wonder which of your many short-sleeved t-shirts you should wear today as you will be playing outside all day. Did you know that the color of your shirt can actually affect how hot you feel?
In this class, we will explore how color affects the absorption of heat from light using a SCI DAQ module, a light sensor, and a temperature sensor. By comparing the data, you'll gain a better understanding of how different colors absorb heat and how this knowledge can inform your clothing choices on hot and sunny days.
SCI DAQ Module x 1
SEN0228 Ambient Light Sensor x 1
SEN0334 Temperature and Humidity Sensor x 1
4pin Wire x 2
Type-C Cable or Battery Holder
Color paper (e.g., black, white, red, blue, green) x 5
Light source (e.g., lamp or sunlight)
1. Power the SCI module from either battery or Type-C port.
2. Connect the light sensor and temperature & humidity sensor to Port 2 and Port 3 respectively. The sensors will be automatically identified and their data will be displayed on the screen.
3. If you have previously connected a sensor to Port 1, the data will not disappear after disconnecting the sensor. To remove the data display, you need to go to Select the SKU and then select NULL.
In this experiment, we will prepare five identical paper boxes, each with a different color, and insert the temperature sensor into each box to measure temperature changes over a specific time period. We will conduct the measurements one by one, ensuring that the light condition remains constant throughout the experiment by using a light sensor as a controlled variable.
Fold the color paper to create five boxes, ensuring that each box is approximately the same size (7 x 5 x 3cm). Cut a small hole in the side of each box to insert the temperature sensor and cover the hole with a strip of tape to prevent air from escaping. Place the light sensor next to the box.
Place the boxes in an area where they can receive direct sunlight or use a lamp as an alternate light source. To ensure that the boxes are uniformly exposed to light and the experiment starts under the same conditions, record the initial temperature and light values for each box, and verify that the values are about the same.
The SCI module has a built-in system clock that we can use as a timer. Set the data refresh rate to 1 second and look at the clock in the top-right corner of the screen. Write down the time and begin recording your data.
To start recording, press the R button. Let the experiment run for 15 minutes and then press R again to pause the recording. Move on to the next box and repeat the process. Keep doing this until you've recorded data for all the boxes.
All data will be stored in the same CSV file, with a blank line as a marker after each data recording pause or start.
After collecting data from the experiment, you can create a multiple line graph using the CSV file to show how the temperature changed for each color over time. The graph can help answer the following questions:
1. Which color had the highest temperature reading?
2. Which color had the lowest temperature reading?
3. Did the temperature increase at the same speed for each color?
By looking at the graph, it is easy to see the changes in temperature for each color throughout the experiment. It can be concluded that the color with the highest temperature reading absorbed the most heat. This suggests that this particular color is better at absorbing radiant energy compared to the other colors tested. This information is important because it can help people design energy-efficient buildings and other structures.