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Investigation on how long a candle burns under a glass beaker.

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Introduction

Katrina Farrant 10HA Chemistry October 21st 2002 Burning Candles Investigation on how long a candle burns under a glass beaker Aim I am planning to investigate how long a candle burns for when put under a glass beaker. I am also aiming to see whether it is the candle or the size of the beaker that determines how long the candle burns for. I also want to find out if you can determine the volume of a gas jar, just by timing how long the candle burns for when placed underneath. Prediction/Hypothesis The burning of the candle is called combustion. This is the reaction of a substance with oxygen from the air. During combustion, the candle that burns is oxidised to produce oxides. Also, energy is given out in the form of heat, light and sometimes sound energy. Combustion is a reaction that requires oxygen. Any specific volume of air will only contain a limited and fixed percentage of oxygen gas molecules. I predict that the larger the beaker, the larger the volume of gas inside the beaker. Therefore, the more oxygen molecules in the beaker, which then means the longer the candle will be lit for, because the reaction will stop when the oxygen level drops too low. ...read more.

Middle

We will carry out this method four more times for the measured beakers, and then we will do the same with the Gas Jar. The difference in method between the Gas Jar and the other beakers is that we know the volumes of the other beakers, but the volume of the Gas Jar is unknown. For the Gas Jar, we will put a candle onto a safety mat, light it, and then cover it with the Gas Jar. We will start the stopwatch and record how many seconds the candle is lit for. As soon as the candle goes out, the stopwatch will be stopped. We will record the amount of time the candle is lit for, into the results table. Then I will find the average result of the three tests for each beaker. I will find this by using this formula. This average will then be recorded into my results table. Then I will draw my graph. On my graph, the seconds will be on the "y" axis and the volumes of the beakers will be on the "x" axis. I will plot all of my results onto my graph and measure a line of best fit. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also they followed my prediction perfectly, I had no problems. From my results I have calculated that the Gas Jar had an approximate volume of 200 cm cubed. The actual volume of the gas jar is 210 cm cubed. This result is extremely close to my approximation, which means that my results were very accurate. I also believe that my experiment was a very fair test, we followed our method exactly and had no reason to change anything. I think that my results were pretty reliable. There was an obvious line of best fit in which many of the results fitted in with. I did have one anomalous reading though, but it was not far off track. An Anomalous reading is a reading that didn't follow the same pattern as the others. This might have occurred because of a number of reasons. For example, We could've made an error in taking measurements or we might not have filled up the gaps in the beaker enough etc. I think, that by carrying out a further experiment, we would extend our knowledge by changing the experiment a little, by maybe changing a different variable or by having more tests. Either way, we would learn a lot more on this specific subject. Katrina Farrant 10HA ...read more.

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