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The Problem that I am going to investigate is to see the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a one kilogram object by one degree Celsius. I will measure the temperature of the object every sixty seconds.

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Physics Coursework

The Problem that I am going to investigate is to see the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a one kilogram object by one degree Celsius. I will measure the temperature of the object every sixty seconds. I will do this for ten minutes (six hundred seconds).

Some scientific knowledge that may help me in this investigation is the different methods of heat transfer. The different methods of heat transfer are: conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. All of these methods of heat transfer may occur during me experiment.

Here is a description of all the processes of heat transfer:


This is where the heat energy transfers through surfaces/objects. The heat energy makes the particles of the object vibrate which make the particles next to it vibrate, which makes the next one vibrate, etc. Once the thermal energy has passed through all the particles, it gets released into the atmosphere. Materials that are good heat conductors tend to be good electrical conductors. Examples of these are: metals such as gold, silver and copper. Other materials such as glass have smaller heat transfer values and are poor at transferring heat.


This is frequently the most appropriate way to transfer heat efficiently.

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The variables are factors that I will change throughout the experiment. These variables are: The temperature rise and the mass of the object. The constant is something that is always the same throughout the whole experiment. The constant in my experiment is apparatus and the time that each material is heated for.

To prepare for the actual experiment, I carried out some preliminary work. This preliminary work was simply carrying out a ‘fake’ version of my experiment to see what changes need to be made to make it more accurate. As I carried out this preliminary experiment, I recorded the results down.

The starting temperature was 26.5°C.

I (a)

T (s)

V (v)

E (j)

Temperature (°C)



















































During this preliminary experiment, I used 12 volts. After carrying out the experiment, I realised that my procedure was incorrect as there was significant heat loss. The error that I made was that the 1kg block had a rather big hole, which had a much wider circumference than the immersion heater. This meant that there was a lot of heat loss as there was such a big gap between the two objects. For my final experiment I will make sure that the immersion heater fits exactly into the object to reduce any heat loss.

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If I did my experiment again, I would the main improvement that I would make is to use brand new equipment. This is because I used the equipment provided by the school, which was quite old and fairly used. This meant that there was a good chance that the results were recorded with faults. This may have been the case because some equipment may not have been doing there job accurately. For example, the schools immersion heater was quite old and had been used a lot before, this meant that the immersion heater may not have been emitting the correct amount of heat energy.

Looking at all the inaccurate equipment, leading to the potentially incorrect results, I think that my results are not accurate enough to draw firm conclusions. This is because one faulty piece of equipment can lead to an array of inaccurate results which could lead to erroneous conclusion, and the schools equipment being faulty is far too possible to be a reliable source of results.

Another experiment that could be carried out to extend the work that I have done is an electrical conductivity experiment. This experiment could analyse the relationship between the rate of electrical conductivity and the mass of an object; although, this experiment would need very accurate pieces of equipment.

By Usman Naeem

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