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ERIC Number: EJ951121
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Why Do Objects Cool More Rapidly in Water than in Still Air?
Bohren, Craig F.
Physics Teacher, v49 n9 p550-553 Dec 2011
An Internet search for why objects, especially humans, cool more rapidly in water than in air, both at the same temperature, and by how much, yields off-the-cuff answers unsupported by experiment or analysis. To answer these questions in depth requires a smattering of engineering heat transfer, including radiative transfer, and the different thermophysical properties of the two fluids. The correct ratio for humans is closer to 2 than to 10, and if this were not so, swimming in cool water could be fatal.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A