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Measuring the specific heat capacity of water

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Introduction

Measuring the Specific Heat capacity of Water

Introduction

The Specific Heat Capacity of any substance can be defined as the amount of energy needed to raise 1kg of the substance by 1˚c. It’s found by using the following formula:

C = Q / (M x Δ θ)

Where (C) represents the SPHC; (Q) the energy needed or given out in joules; (M) is the mass of the substance calculated in kilograms and Δ θ represents the change in temperature in either ˚C or Kelvin.

Aim

The aim of the experiment is to determine the Specific Heat Capacity of any liquid, but in our case Water.

Hypothesis

I think that we will obtain a close number to the exact Specific Heat Capacity known as 4200 J/Kg˚C., though it will not be 100 accurate because some heat will be lost, leading to possible errors in data. I don’t think we can insulate 100% with the following calorimeter at school, thus it might gain or release energy causing in-accuracy. Additionally I think that the change of temperature will be constant throughout the experiment, because the amount of energy given will always stay the same. I also believe the temperature will rise proportional to time, this is because as more time is expanded, the molecules receive more heat, according to the Kinetic Theory, the molecules become more active, and start to move rapidly increasing collision rate. Thus more the time, the higher the temperature will be until a certain point.

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Middle

Time / Seconds

Temperature / ()

Change in temperature

Δθ= θ¹- θ²/()

0

22.5

0.0

120

23.2

0.7

240

23.7

1.2

360

24.5

2.0

480

25.1

2.6

600

25.8

3.3

720

26.4

3.9

840

27.3

4.8

960

27.9

5.4

1080

28.7

6.2

1200

29.3

6.8

1320

30.0

7.5

1440

30.5

8.0

1560

31.1

8.6

1680

31.7

9.2

1800

32.2

10

Mass of water / kg

0.425

Voltage / Volts

12

Current / Amps

1

Power / I x A   (watts)

12

Calculations

To find out the Specific Heat capacity for water

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Conclusion

Evaluation

I think that I was very close to the precise specific heat capacity of water. With a difference of only 35j/kg˚C I think that there are variables, which cannot be controlled 100%. But I think I could have improved this experiment. I think next time I could take a wider range of data, for the temperatures. This means to repeat the experiment numerous times. This will allow me to have more accurate data. Also I think I should keep the stirring of the water more persistent next time. I could either, have a plan of something like, stirring for 2 minutes, and then stopping for an minute etc. Or I could persistently keep on stirring through the whole experiment; this will allow the particles to move around the beaker more, making it a fairer test.

Also I could increase the power supplied to the calorimeter, which would allow me to analyze the relationship at higher temperatures, and also more modern equipment.

All these factors could be improved next time, hopefully giving me even accurate results.


[1] Appendix 1

[2] See Graph

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