|MadSci Network: Physics|
My son Tom sent this question in a week ago, but given that he didn't get a number back I am wondering if he did something incorrect on the form. So I'll send it again for him. Why is it that some plastic playground equipment, such as a slide, is hotter than the metal equipment around it? This is even if the plastic is a light color and the metal is darker? Tom has checked this with a thermometer on several pieces, and it is true; on, say, a 20 C day the metal will be 20 C and the plastic may be 30 C. We will have to wait until December to check in the real heat of the summer. I suspect that the answer is that all things being equal, it shouldn't be. However, differences in mass and shape mean that the plastic piece heats up faster. But I don't know that I am correct. Thanks. Scott (Tom's dad)
Re: why is some plastic playground equipment hotter than metal?
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