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Color and Heat

Question:
How does the color of the clothing you are wearing affect your temperature after being in a
snowy environment?

Hypothesis:
We believe that the darker the color the more light it will absorb instead of reflecting it and losing
heat.
If you are wearing clothing thats color is darker than the clothing will absorb more sun and
become hotter in less time than clothing that is lighter.

Introduction:
In this experiment we wanted to see how much of a difference the color of your clothing
can make.We knew that black has a tendency to absorb more light, but we wanted to know how
much of a difference something simple like clothing color can make. Color is the reflection of the
light from the sun. When you see a color that is based on how many wavelengths it reflects. If
you pass light through a prism it will reflect all of the colors. If you see something white, that just
means that the thing is reflecting most of the waves coming through. The more light that is
absorbed the more heat is absorbed along with it. Heat absorption refers to the transfer of heat
between two objects. A black object instead of reflecting all of the light absorbs it and converts
it into heat. This is because light is energy. Light colors stay the same temperature because
they are reflecting the light. When your clothing is cold, after something like laying in the snow,
different colors will warm and dry in faster times.

Methods and Materials:


Connect your thermal camera and take a picture of the person wearing the clothing before going
outside. We made sure to choose a sunny day so you can test how sunshine affects the
clothings heat. Once you have the photo pre testing head outside and lay with your back in the
snow surrounding you for 5 minutes. Test 5 minutes for every color, or the test results will be
different. Take another photo and compare the spots where you are losing body heat and how
the clothings heat helped maintain your core temperature. Then stand with your back facing the
the sun for another 5 minutes to have equal intervals for each. Repeat this for every color of
clothing you have. To be most successful you must try all clothing in similar temperatures and
similar weather conditions. Test with the same layer under the clothing being tested as well.
Materials List:
Four pieces of clothing of similar materials
-One Black
-One Blue
-One White
-One a color of choice
-A thermal camera to test temperature before and after

Results:
Overall our hypothesis was correct. When you are trying to gain heat back after being in snow
darker colors like black will absorb more heat and retain more heat. When you look at our data
below and the temperatures we recorded, the difference between colors is very large. Black has
the most heat, by a large difference, and white has the lowest post temperature.
Color Black White Blue Purple

Before Snow 27.1 20.9 21.8 22.2

After 5 min in 7.7 10.6 7.2 5.8


snow

After 5 min in 45.5 23.1 31.3 28.8


sun
*All Temperatures are in celsius

Discussion:
We are very confident in these results. Just by wearing each of the clothing, the people testing
could tell that the darker clothing felt much hotter. It was as we expected, when you are cold,
standing with the cold side of your body in the sun makes a large difference in short time. WE
did this experiment to create one more way you can stay warmer when being outside in the
cold. If you are outside on a sunny winter day, wear darker clothing to retain heat.
This test, for the most part, turned out how we expected. The results had more of an
impact than we thought, but personally it was a test I predicted would end like this. Overall the
results were not as important as other tests, but it is helpful if you need a quick way to test
which of your clothing retains heat the best.
We wanted to further your knowledge on this, we wanted to test more on what the wave
absorption levels look like in different clothing. We didnt have the materials to go over
something as deep level as exact wave measurements, but if we had, we could have seen
exactly which material and color works the best and why it stores light energy the best. In our
experiment, if we had been more prepared or together then we could have tested the same
materials. This may have caused some error in our test.
Abstract:
The motivations behind this project was testing which color of clothing to buy to keep you
warm. In 8th grade some of our group members studied light, and the teacher made it boring
and drawn out. We wanted to find a useful and interesting way to use color. We were
investigating, how does the color of the clothing you are wearing affect your temperature after
being in a snowy environment? Our method for testing this was wearing four different colors of
clothing, lying in the snow to cool down your overall temperature, and then standing in the sun
and comparing how long each color of clothing took to heat up.

Background Knowledge:
-The more light is absorbed the more heat is absorbed along with it. Colors like black
have a hotter surface area on average then colors like blue.
-Heat absorption refers to the transfer of heat between two objects. This can happen
through convection conduction and radiation.
-Color is the reflection of the light from the sun. When you see a color that is based on
how many wavelengths it reflects. If you pass light through a prism it will reflect all of the colors.
If you see something white, that just means that the thing is reflecting most of the waves coming
through.
-A black object instead of reflecting all of the light absorbs it and converts it into heat.
This is because light is energy. Light colors stay the same temperature because they are
reflecting the light.
-It is absorbing photons.

Purple Jacket
Image 1 Shows the starting temperature of a light purple jacket.
Image 2 Shows the temperature of the light purple jacket after laying in the snow for 5 minutes.
Image 3 Shows the temperature of the light purple jacket after sitting in the sun for 5 minutes.

Black T-shirt
Image 1 Shows the starting temperature of a black t-shirt.
Image 2 Shows the temperature of the black t-shirt after laying in the snow for 5 minutes.
Image 3 Shows the temperature of the black t-shirt after sitting in the sun for 5 minutes.

White T-shirt
Image 1 Shows the starting temperature of a white t-shirt.
Image 2 Shows the temperature of the white t-shirt after laying in the snow for 5 minutes.
Image 3 Shows the temperature of the white t-shirt after sitting in the sun for 5 minutes.
Blue Jacket

Image 1 Shows the starting temperature of a blue jacket.


Image 2 Shows the temperature of the blue jacket after laying in the snow for 5 minutes.
Image 3 Shows the temperature of the blue jacket after sitting in the sun for 5 minutes.

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