NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Classroom Activity

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NEWTON'S COOL IN THE POOL

Algebra 2

Key Topics: Exponential and logarithmic functions, Newton’s Law of Cooling

NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, or NBL, is the largest indoor pool in the world. Astronauts use the NBL for training and refining spacewalks. The pool holds over six million gallons of water at an average temperature of 86°F to minimize the potential effects of hypothermia on astronauts and divers. Students will analyze the temperature change in the pool after a power outage using Newton’s Law of Cooling.

Students will
• analyze temperature-loss data graphically;
• use Newton’s Law of Cooling to predict temperature loss;
• solve the Newton’s Law of Cooling formula for the exponential constant of cooling (k); and
• determine the time required for tank temperature to equalize with room temperature.

Note: This particular activity requires the use of TI-Nspire™ technology to be used successfully.

Files for use with the TI-Nspire™
› Newton’s Cool in the Pool TI_Nspire Educator Edition (PDF 447 KB)
› Newton’s Cool in the Pool TI_Nspire Student Edition (PDF 385 KB)
Note: The following file is a software specific file for Texas Instrument Nspire calculators.
› Newton’s Cool in the Pool TI_Nspire Document (TNS 270 KB)
› Newton’s Cool in the Pool TI_Nspire Solution Document (TNS 272 KB)

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