Monday, March 15, 2010

Some evidence that my husband is dorky. And also super smart.

Mike sent this email to some friends this week. It's awesome so I thought I would share!


Hi, science friends.

Jay's birthday is this weekend and I was going to get him a set of whiskey stones. (Granite or soapstone rocks that you keep in the freezer and then use instead of ice cubes) The question I was pondering was which are better? I was looking at specific heat and thermal conductivity...trying to figure out which material would hold more "coldness" and transfer it best to the liquid.

After some googling, I came up with:

Specific heat

Granite - 0.79 KJ / kg K
Soapstone - 1.047 KJ / kg K


Granite - 2.75 g /cm^3
Soapstone - 2.98 g /cm^3

Specific Heat by volume (calc'd using above inputs)

Granite - 2.17 J / cm^3
Soapstone - 3.12 J / cm^3

I think this means that it takes more energy to warm up a certain volume of soapstone than it does the same volume of granite. Since they'd both be chilled to the same temperature in the freezer, I think soapstone is the better choice.

Soapstone also has a much higher thermal conductivity (6.4 W/mK compared to 2.1 W/mK), which makes me think it will absorb heat more quickly, thus allowing quicker consumption of a chilled adult beverage.

So....all signs point to soapstone, right? It's been a long time since I've thought about thermo so figured i'd run it by you guys first. Also, I know Brett doesn't actually do any work and is probably looking for something to distract him.



Kevin said...

Where's the like button??