• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

# The aim of my investigation is to determine the specific heat capacity of aluminium.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

## The Specific Heat Capacity of Aluminium

Aim:

The aim of my investigation is to determine the specific heat capacity of aluminium.

Theory:

Specific heat capacity is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1kg of mass by 1degree Celsius.(1)  In order to calculate the specific heat capacity heat capacity (c) of aluminium I can use the equation,        H=mc    T (2)

Therefore c=     H

m   T

I can measure the mass of the aluminium, (m), and the change in temperature of the block, (   T), however the energy change,  (     H), is hard to measure.  Another equation I can use to calculate       H is the equation        E=ItV (3).  I can measure the energy supply using an electrical heater and recording the current the time and the voltage.  Using the first law of thermodynamics or conservation of energy E=H.  Therefore ItV=mcT.  Using this knowledge I can design the basic circuit required to record the necessary measurements.

The aluminium block has two holes one containing a heat filament and one containing a thermometer.  In order to try and measure the energy from the heating filament entering the block I need to prevent as much heat being lost into the environment as possible.  Heat can escape in three ways, by convection, conduction and radiation.  'Convection involves the bulk motion of a fluid (liquid or gas) and is usually caused by hot fluid (being less dense) rising and displacing cold fluids.  Radiation involves the emission and absorption of electromagnetic radiation.  Conduction takes place in solids and in fluids, regardless of any bulk motion of the fluid.'(4)  Conduction, like convection, requires a temperature difference to be established within the material, which conducts.

Middle

This is a slightly larger source of error and along with human error of measurement could result or is used to explain any inaccurate results.

The stop clock recorded to the nearest second, the largest error will occur at the lowest time, which is when the first recordings take place after 60 seconds.

Stop clock,  %error = 1 x 100

60

= 2%

This is also quite a small source of error. However only the total time in actually used in the calculation        E = ItV. Therefore the error caused by the stop clock is even smaller.

Stop clock, %error = 1 x 100

300

=0.3%

The largest source of error involved in the investigation is due to the time taken to record the readings of the voltmeter, ammeter, thermometer and stop clock which are all supposed to be recorded simultaneously, where as in fact there could be up to a three second delay as to the actual time a reading could have been taken, as three seconds was approximately the time it took to record all four results.  Another source of inaccuracy was the assumption I made in performing the experiment that the reading of the thermometer was the temperature of the whole block.  This was not the case as the temperature of the centre of the aluminium block, which was near the heating filament, would have been greater than that of the edge of the block.  The thermometer was placed half way between the centre and edge of the block, however this does not produce a value for the average temperature of the block as the temperature does not spread out evenly.

Analysis:

In order to the calculate the specific hat capacity of aluminium the equation,

'ItV=mc   T'(5) must be used.  To find the specific heat capacity (c) the equation can be rearranged into the form, c= ItV Conclusion

In this experiment the position of the thermometer is very important as the temperature varies throughout the block, the centre of the block being hotter than that of the edge of the block.  However there was only one possible place in which the thermometer could be placed.  An improvement to the experiment would be to vary the place which the thermometer was placed within the aluminium block and see how the results are affected.  This could not be done in school, as the equipment was not available.  Another improvement could be to use light gates instead of using stop clocks as this means that human reaction times are not involved and the results will therefore be more accurate.

To reduce the error caused by the time taken to read the stop clock thermometer, the voltmeter and the ammeter you could be ready looking at the thermometer as the required time is approaching and the read the temperature at the exact time as this is the result which changes most frequently and has the most influence on the results.  The reading on the ammeter and voltmeter remain almost constant with slight fluctuation, however an average reading of these can be taken so a slight delay in reading these values will have little effect on the results.

## Bibliography

• A-level physics-Roger Muncaster
• Physics-J L Lewis & G E Foxcroft
• Basic Physics 1 and 2-David Sang
• A-level Physics, letts study guide-Kenn Dunn

References:

(1)Basic Physics 1 and 2- David Sang

(2)A-level Physics, letts study guide- Kenn Dunn

(3)Physics- J L Lewis & G E Foxcroft

(4)A- level physics- Roger Muncaster

(5)A-level physics, letts study guide

(6)Basic Physics 1 and 2 – David Sang

(7)Physics- J L Lewis & G E Foxcroft

(8),(9),(10)A-level physics- Roger Muncaster

Laura Cope 13H

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics section.

## Found what you're looking for?

• Start learning 29% faster today
• 150,000+ documents available
• Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

# Related AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics essays

1.  ## Experiment to find the specific heat capacity of an aluminium block.

4 star(s)

+ (%error in m) = (% error in V) + (% error in I) + (% error t) + (%error in m) = 0.04% + 0.1% + 0.8% + 0.0004% = 0.3404% CONCLUSION AND EVALUATION: As the accepted value for the specific heat capacity for aluminium is 910 J/kgoC it would seem that my result of 1029 +/- 350

2. ## An experiment to measure the specific heat capacity of water

We decided that we needed a temperature change of at least 10 �C to provide us with enough data. Note - for consistency and to reduce errors from calibration, the same scales and thermometer were used throughout. When we commenced our experiment, we took the following readings Empty Beaker =

1. ## Magnetism Investigation

In setting up the circuit, the two posts at one side should be joined by a fairly long wire. The other two posts are used to connect the balance in the circuit (Fig. 2). It is important that the lead wires connected to the binding posts of the balance leave

2. ## The aim of the experiment is to verify the maximum power theorem and investigate ...

Except we have to know how to use the beam balance correctly, we should know how to minimize depletion of the balance. When we do not use the beam balance, we have to move one of masses to the right-hand sides.

1. ## A2 Viscosity investigation

The stop clocks sensitivity is +or-0.05s but as it is not electronically controlled and it is based on human judgement and reaction time the actual error for this part will be greater than that stated. To reduce percentage errors comparatively greater amounts of syrup have been used as the uncertainties

2. ## The purpose of this experiment was to measure the specific heat capacity (Cb) of ...

We then subtracted its empty mass (mc) from this value to find the mass of the water inside (mw). The water's mass was 0.1051kg. 5. The brass was then placed into a water filled beaker on the heat plate, and left until the water was boiling about 20 minutes.

1. ## The objective of this laboratory was to measure the specific heat capacity of two ...

a percent difference calculation between the accepted value of the specific heat values of iron and lead and their experimental values. The examples of this are in the calculations above. The percent error of the lead was +- 16.452%, which is very high.

2. ## The Purpose of my sensing circuit is to regulate the temperature in a Steam ...

Avoided the use of any faulty or damaged instrument and use of wet hands on electrical appliances to reduce risk of electric shock. 5. Kept all glassware (beakers and thermometer) towards the centre of the table and handled them with caution. • Over 160,000 pieces
of student written work
• Annotated by
experienced teachers
• Ideas and feedback to 