Problem: We pack two identical coolers for a picnic, placing 24 12-ounce soft drinks and five pounds of ice in each. However, the drinks that we put into cooler A were refrigerated for several hours before they were packed in the cooler, while the drinks that we put into cooler B were at room temperature. When we open the two coolers three hours later, most of the ice in cooler A is still present, while nearly all of the ice in cooler B has melted.Explain this difference.

FREE Expert Solution

Heat lost or gained is directly proportional to the change in temperature , ΔT:

  • higher ΔT → bigger heat gain
  • lower ΔT → smaller heat gain


Melting → absorbs heat 


In each cooler: 

  • heat gained by ice = heat lost by drinks
  • +qice = -qdrinks

Melting temperature of ice = 0°C

Room temperature = ~25°C

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Problem Details

We pack two identical coolers for a picnic, placing 24 12-ounce soft drinks and five pounds of ice in each. However, the drinks that we put into cooler A were refrigerated for several hours before they were packed in the cooler, while the drinks that we put into cooler B were at room temperature. When we open the two coolers three hours later, most of the ice in cooler A is still present, while nearly all of the ice in cooler B has melted.

Explain this difference.

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