Science Experiments

Does the color of crayon affect it's melting rate?

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2009-10-25 23:25:00

The answer to this question most likely has to do with the

albedo of crayon (wax, charcoal, etc). Albedo is the extent to

which an object diffusely reflects light from light sources,

measured as a ratio. The lower the albedo, the more light/energy is

absorbed into the object. Since darker colored objects absorb more

energy, the albedo of a darker crayon is probably lower than the

albedo of a lighter crayon. This means the darker crayon, while

absorbing more energy, will heat up faster than the lighter


This is why snow around a tree typically melts much faster and

earlier than snow with nothing around it -- because of the tree

bark's albedo is much lower than snow/ice and thus can absorb more

energy faster, and heat up whatever is around it quicker.

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