Item NG083004: Energy is transferred to the air around hot food as the food cools even though the temperature of the air does not appear to increase.

A cook heats up some food on a stove. He removes the food from the stove and places it on a plate.  He lets the food cool. His friend tells him that the food has less energy when it is cool because some energy was transferred to the air around the food. The cook does not agree with his friend because the temperature of the air around the food did not seem to increase. Is the friend correct in saying that some energy was transferred to the air? Why or why not?

  1. No, energy could not have been transferred to the air because energy cannot be transferred from one object to another.
  2. No, even though energy can be transferred from one object to another, energy could not have been transferred to the air because air is not an object.
  3. No, energy could not have been transferred to the air because energy was used up when the food cooled down.
  4. Yes, even though the temperature of the air did not appear to increase, some energy could have been transferred to the air because the energy had to have gone somewhere.

Statistics for this item are available in the ASPECt Project.