Energy Use Investigation 8.1:

How Does a
Thermos Bottle Work?

Three science teachers were relaxing after a hard day at school. Their talk turned to the great technological achievements of the modern world. One said, “There is nothing that can beat computers. Computers can do more and more, and they are getting smaller and smaller, and cheaper and cheaper. It’s amazing!”

“What about lasers?” the second teacher said. “They are everywhere! I’ll bet in a few years lasers will be used in ways we cannot even imagine now. Lasers certainly rival computers!”

“And then there are Thermos bottles,” added the third teacher.

“Thermos bottles?” said the others. “What is so special about Thermos bottles?” “Well,” explained teacher number three, “if you put something hot in one it stays hot. If you put something cold in one it stays cold. How does the Thermos bottle know what it’s supposed to do?”

As you read this chapter, and you discover other ideas of how a Thermos™ bottle works, feel free to change your explanation

Question 8.2 How does the Thermos™ bottle know? Write down your ideas about how you think a Thermos™ bottle keeps hot things from cooling off and cold things from warming up.

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