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An investigation into the factors affecting the temperature rise in water heated electrically.

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Introduction

An investigation into the factors affecting the temperature rise in water heated electrically Introduction- This investigation is to determine how one of the three factors affect the temperature of water heated electrically. The three possible investigations were- 1- IV and t fixed. M and ?T vary (fixed power fixed time) 2- M and t fixed. IV and ?T vary (Investigate power with ?T) 3- IV and m fixed. t and ?T vary (Investigate ?T with time) Where- t=time IV=power M=mass of water S=specific heat capacity ?T=change in temperature Planning- Planning a suitable method- We are only changing 2 variables in our experiment, the controlled variable and the measured variable. Other than that, all the other factors are constant and need to be maintained that way. For our prelim and actual experiment we did this by testing the equipment before the actual experiment. We made sure that the power supply had been calibrated and we considered testing the thermometers by putting them in a cup of ice and water (0?), or in some boiling water (100?). We also used a polystyrene cup, which is a very good insulator of heat, so no (or very little) heat could have escaped from the cup therefore our results can be considered more accurate than otherwise. We also realized that stirring the water would ensure an average representation of the temperature, as the heat would not be pinpointed to a specific place, i.e. ...read more.

Middle

On the graph we saw some anomalous points. We expected the graph to have anomalous points (in relation to what should be a straight line) at the beginning and end but these were due to the equipment heating up and the water (and equipment) reaching the maximum heat it could obtain from this level of power and then losing heat however there is a sudden acceleration at 11 or 12 minutes and then a huge deceleration where, on average, the water is cooler than it should be at about 13 or 14 minutes. The anomaly looks like there is power failing to be delivered after the acceleration however it is not. We can explain this anomaly by saying how we didn't stir the water until about the tenth minute and so this had a net effect and the water suddenly heated up rapidly, but then didn't heat up very much for a good few seconds once the heat had spread out evenly. This is a non-uniformity in our results that gave us anomalous results. There could also be certain amounts of energy being put into sound energy, e.g. when the water steams (if it does at all) it would give off a faint hissing sound. It would also go to the polystyrene cup as that has a very low heat capacity unlike plastic or glass, our other possible options. ...read more.

Conclusion

We also lost some power due to the length of the wires. If there are shorter wires we would save a lot of energy we would otherwise lose due to energy going elsewhere. Something I also mentioned in the planning stage was the material the beaker was made out of and the outer beaker shown in the diagram. There are a number of suggestions for improvements here. Firstly, we used a polystyrene cup inside a glass beaker. I'm not entirely clear on whether this was to prevent further heat loss or to stabilize the thermometer as the cup would have fallen over under its weight but both are good reasons for it to be kept in the experiment. It also might be to The material of the cup is also very important as different materials have different heat capacities and although polystyrene is a good insulator, it also melts easily so it might not prove the best material to use. A good replacement might be plastic, porcelain or wood. We could also use glass in order to take readings more easily. This would be if we were measuring something else e.g. the mass of the water. For further work we could also investigate the other two experiments that we didn't for the purposes of this essay. However within our own experiment we could investigate better insulation and power sources, i.e. what effects power has and how increases power affects the results. AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE FACTORS AFFECTING THE TEMPERATURE RISE IN WATER HEATED ELECTRICALLY by Jonny Cripps ...read more.

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