From the Integrating Mathematical Problem Solving project by Mathematics for Education and Industry (MEI), this activity for post-16 students demonstrates that coffee cools gradually because it is hotter than room temperature and heat is lost to the room. Mixing the coffee with milk also cools it but this effect is instant. Topic areas covered are:
• Mathematical modelling
• Comparing a model with reality
• Differential equations
• The exponential function
• Weighted averages
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