Why does the temperature in a box change more dramatically than the temperature in the other?

Two closed boxes have identical heaters but the heat capacity of the left-hand box is much greater than the heat capacity of the right-hand box. The power switch controls both heaters.

  1. Run the model and turn the graph on to monitor the temperatures. Click on a thermometer to highlight its data.
  2. Use the buttons at the upper-right corner of the graph window to rescale the curves if necessary.
  3. When the left-hand side box reaches 5°C, turn off the power.
  4. Try to keep the temperature in the left-hand side box between 3 and 5°C by turning the power on and off.
  5. Compare the shapes of the two temperature curves.

Graph Grid Isotherm Heat flux Power

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Developed by Charles Xie. © 2010- The Concord Consortium.