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    Mathematical Insight to Your Cup of Tea


    29 Mar, 2018

    10 : 00

    • Suppose you are in a hurry, trying to get to math class on time, but you want to drink a cup of hot tea before you go. How long will you have to wait until it is cool enough to drink? What tea drinking conditions have the greatest effect on your ability to arrive to class on time?

      Our Year 13s took on this question while studying differential equations. Along with the math involved, they used Vernier GoTemp sensors to record, graph and analyze their own tea cooling conditions. Will putting the tea in the fridge cool it the fastest but compromise the warming effect of your favourite beverage? Use a glass cup rather than your favourite mug? Should you only use half the amount of hot water? Or do you cover it and dare bring the boiling hot tea to math class?

      In this investigation, the Year 13s are experiencing first-hand the rate at which liquids cool under different conditions. They will use their data to work out a differential equation that models their situation comparing the precision of mathematics to the variability of the real world.

      Next time you want to transport or cool a hot beverage quickly, just speak to our Year 13s to find out the best option.