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Listed under:  Science  >  Forces and energy  >  Heat
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Heat transfer: is it hot or cold?

If you picked up a paper book and a metal box do you think one would feel colder to the touch or would they feel the same? Watch this clip to see if people's predictions about the temperature of objects match their observations. You may be as surprised as they are!


Expansion and Contraction

This is a problem-solving activity in which students are engaged in a challenge is to control virtual bridges using expansion and contraction so that a car can pass over them. In so doing they learn about the expansion of solids, liquids and gases when heated is applied. Students need to understand how a bimetallic strip works.

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Carbon dioxide and the oceans

This is a colour video clip describing how carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are increasing global temperatures and causing acidification of the oceans. It features two New Zealand scientists, hydrologist Dr Dave Campbell of the University of Waikato, who talks about atmospheric water vapour, and ...

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My Place - Episode 14: 1878: Henry, The dough machine

Franklin and Henry invent 'The spoon cranking dough churner', which explodes when they fail to take into account the fact that dough expands when heated.

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Temperature changes the properties of a substance

Substances that are very cold have different properties to substances that are hot. Watch as the Surfing Scientist uses hot and cold water, food colouring and a fish tank to demonstrate what happens when water at different temperatures is mixed together.

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Keeping cool in hot weather

Have you ever wondered why your face turns red when you run around? Discover what's going on under your skin when this happens, and how this helps you keep cool. See some of the clever ways that animals keep cool, too.

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Shrinking and expanding metals

Explore with the Surfing Scientist team what happens when metals are heated and cooled. Find out what happens to a metal ring when it is immersed in extremely cold liquid nitrogen. What do hinges on the Sydney Harbour Bridge have to do with all this? Find out.

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Energy and the solar challenge

The way we live depends on energy but we can't see or touch it. Discover how early scientists unravelled the mystery of energy that allows us to harness its power to improve our lives. Track the development of energy converters from massive steam-driven engines through to the high technology of solar energy used in the ...

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Melting permafrost: a sign of climate change?

Until recently, evidence led scientists to think that Arctic permafrost was melting at a much slower rate than is the case now. During climate change talks, a stark warning was sounded that permafrost thawing could push the Earth's climate past a tipping point. In this clip, find out a bit more about permafrost melting ...

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Nuclear fusion meets the circus

Merge the nuclei of hydrogen atoms in a fusion reaction and what do you get? Energy and lots of it! Could nuclear fusion provide a safe, sustainable energy source? That's the goal of scientists at the JET nuclear facility in England. They're on their way but have some serious challenges to overcome. See what they are and ...

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Old and new light bulbs

There are two types of incandescent light bulbs. The old type uses a filament (wire) while the fluorescent bulb uses a tube filled with gas. Both bulbs convert electrical energy to light and heat energy, but they use different methods and materials. Watch to find out how they work, what colour light they produce, and how ...

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Do-it-yourself science toys

Bernie and Ruben show you how to make four do-it-yourself (DIY) science toys. Learn how to make a balancing tightrope walker, a lava lamp, a spinning spiral decoration and a cardboard boomerang. You might need some help with a few things.

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Check out these weird clouds

Clouds nearly 100 km above Earth's surface? That's weird! Join Mark Horstman in Antarctica to explore noctilucent clouds and the LIDAR technology used to measure temperature in the upper atmosphere. Discover how this top-down study of the atmosphere is providing fresh knowledge about climate change.

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Cooking popcorn: just add sunlight and mirrors!

When mirrors reflect sunlight and concentrate it into a point, a lot of heat is generated. But could mirrors make enough heat to cook popcorn? Watch this clip to find out about a solar-powered cooker made of them.

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Hot facts about snow skiing

Did you know that snow is not actually slippery? Watch this clip to find out the roles that heat and friction play in snow skiing and why they're essential to the movement of skis across snow. You'll also meet an Olympic skier and discover how a combination of science and technology improve a skier's winning edge in a race.

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Picking up ice cubes with string

Imagine trying to pick up a slippery ice cube with just a piece of string. Watch the Surfing Scientist team demonstrate how it can be done, using a surprising additive.

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Toffee-powered rocket bike

Space rockets are powered by a combustion reaction in which a fuel reacts with oxygen. In this clip, a science reporter builds a bike propelled by toffee (a high-energy solid that burns) and nitrous oxide, which provides oxygen for the reaction. You'll be amazed to see what happens when he adds peanuts to the toffee. Don't ...

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When vehicle brakes catch fire!

Slamming on car brakes results in two metal surfaces pressing against each other, causing friction. Friction force turns motion energy into heat energy, but how much heat is produced? Watch this clip, as car brakes are put to the ultimate test in a vehicle-design testing facility.

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First sign of climate change

This is a video resource describing the rapid loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, which has warmed at twice the global rate over the last 50 years. The video features footage of the Arctic and some of the wildlife dependent on that environment, and makes effective use of time-lapse animation to show the dramatic reduction ...

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Sam the Lamb: Does wool burn?

This short entertaining video, narrated by ‘Sam the Lamb’ and 'Professors' Madeleine and Daisy test which fabrics burn easily and which fabrics are the most flame resistant. Sam and his science team test the flammability of a range of synthetic and natural fabrics including polyester, polar fleece, cotton and wool.