Holiday Thermal Physics

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a Seek Thermal camera, so I can continue my transformation into Rhett Allain. What's this for? Why, physics, of course. Such as this video of the operation of the Christmas pyramid my parents picked up in Germany, and had set up at the start of Christmas dinner:

Sadly, the Seek Thermal app doesn't seem to record audio with the video, so you miss out on SteelyKid's running commentary about the whole thing... But you can fairly clearly see the plumes of hot air rising up from the candle to push the vanes of the fan. There's probably a way to estimate the flow rate from the rotation of the fan, but I'm on vacation; feel free to write it up, and send it to Rhett for grading...

Anyway, if you got new toys for one winter solstice holiday or another, I hope they're shiny.

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And calculate the chemical energy to mechanical efficiency of the engine. But, as you say, you are on vacation.

I used to love to play with those when I was a kid. Wasn't thinking about energy efficiency either.

Cool toy (thermal scanner).

By Omega Centauri (not verified) on 26 Dec 2014 #permalink

Toy? Tool? Pretty good resolution.

Can you see cold air leaks from inside or major heat leaks from the outside? Single vs double vs triple pane or E glass? I can think of both qualitative and quantitative questions to use it for.

I've never seen a Christmas Pyramid before. We have (swedish) angel chimes; same operational principle but the moving angels ring bells as it turns.

By CCPhysicist (not verified) on 27 Dec 2014 #permalink