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Calculating the specific heat of a metal

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Introduction

The Specific Heat of a Metal I. Purpose: to determine the specific heat of a substance. II. Materials: > 50-mL beaker > 250-mL beaker > 400-mL beaker > 100-mL graduated cylinder > Large test tube > Glass stirring rod > Utility clamp > Ring stand > Ring support > Hot plate > Electric balance > Plastic foam cup > Thermometer > Lead shot > Distilled water III. Procedure: 1. 250 mL of water was heated in a 400-mL beaker until it was boiling gently. 2. While the water was heating, the mass of a clean, dry 50-mL beaker was determined and recorded. ...read more.

Middle

6. The test tube was removed from the boiling water and quickly poured into the water-filled plastic foam cup. A thermometer and a glass stirring rod were placed into the cup. The stirring rod was used to gently stir the lead shot. The temperature was then frequently noted and recorded. IV. Data Collection: General Data The data above corresponds to the values and measurements that were recorded throughout the experiment at the appropriate instances mentioned in the procedure. This data will be used to determine the specific heat of the lead shot with the following approach: Density of water = 1 g/mL --> Mass of water in foam cup = 100 g If no heat was lost by the surroundings, the ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to a large hole in the foam cup, perhaps too much heat was lost to the surroundings, the thermometer, the stirring rod, and the foam cup. This temperature inaccuracy would lead to an inaccurate calculation of the metal's specific heat. The specific heat of lead is 0.13; however, the value that was found is 0.40. This, clearly, indicates a large difference present between the values. Perhaps the temperatures were calculated inaccurately; if the maximum temperature reached was lower, the value of the specific heat would be more precise. An overall improvement to the experiment would be, simply, to repeat it with greater accuracy and double-checking measurement. Also, a lid with a smaller hole could be used to minimise heat lost. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 2 of 3 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay is very neatly laid out, enabling the reader to easily pick up the information in it. The divisions are that of a professional report, allowing the candidate to address the calculation of a metal’s specific heat effectively. The ...

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Response to the question

This essay is very neatly laid out, enabling the reader to easily pick up the information in it. The divisions are that of a professional report, allowing the candidate to address the calculation of a metal’s specific heat effectively. The procedure is set out well – however it is vague in parts; the candidate merely says “the temperature was measured frequently”. This should really have a set increment to it allowing more accurate data analysis and sounding more professional.

Level of analysis

Analysis in general is good. Some values could be more precise – the density of water can be written more accurately than 1 g/mL. In the conclusion, some good points are addressed but these need to be expanded; it is insufficient to merely say what happened, the candidate must say why. The conclusion should be split into the conclusion drawn from the results (the specific heat of lead) and the evaluation – how the experiment could be improved. Analysis could be further improved by calculating the percentage error on the result obtained, lending more evidence to the report rather than just saying that there is a “large difference present”.

Quality of writing

Quality of writing is good. There are on or two formatting mistakes eg “measured I na”, which should have been picked up on proofreading. The candidate uses precise language that accurately communicates their results and other points, although the points could be elaborated upon a little more, as said above. Overall, this is a good essay, which, if expanded a little could do very well.


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Reviewed by davo11 25/06/2012

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