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Physics - Specific Heat Capacity of An Unknown Material Lab Report

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lab 15F – Specific Heat Capacity of an Unknown Material        Jimmy Cao

                Sept. 20/09

What is the specific heat capacity of an unknown material?

Introduction

In this lab, I will be investigating the specific heat capacity of an unknown material. The specific heat capacity of a material is a very important thermal property of a material as it indicates how much energy(heat) in joules is required to raise the temperature of 1kg of this material by 1image00.pngC.

Since it is not easy to measure the temperature change of a solid directly, I will be immersing it in water and using the idea of thermal equilibrium to obtain a change in temperature,image01.png. And by adding additional known mass of water at a known temperature and waiting for the mixture to reach thermal equilibrium again, we can use the equation:

image09.png

Where image13.png respectively represent the Specific Heat Capacities of the unknown material, water and the

...read more.

Middle

measurements

Temperature of Hot water, image10.png(image11.png)image12.png

Final temperature, image04.png(image11.png) image12.png

Mass of hot water, image14.png(kg)image15.png

Temperature of cold water, image02.png(image11.png)image12.png

Mass of cold water, image03.png(kg) image15.png

89.5

38.5

0.057

19

0.136

90

39.2

0.062

18.8

0.141

79

41.9

0.094

18.1

0.135

77.8

46.5

0.140

17.8

0.141

72.5

34.1

0.065

16

0.126

Raw Data Table forimage08.pngmeasurements

Temperature of Hot water, image10.png(image11.png)

Final temperature, image04.png(image11.png)

Mass of hot water, image14.png(kg)

Temperature of cold water, image02.png(image11.png)

Mass of cold water, image03.png(kg)

68.2

40.8

0.094

18.5

0.112

82

47.1

0.099

20.5

0.126

81

47.6

0.094

20.1

0.110

...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation                                                                                                                                          

        The first design for this lab used an immersion heater and monitoring the power usage with an ammeter and voltmeter. This design involved using the relation,

image38.png,

And then graphing image39.pngvs. image40.pngto obtain image41.pngas part of the slope. However, due to the inefficiencies of the immersion heater and the complexity of timing and monitoring temperature and recording data all at the same time, the results ranged from -10image37.png to over 10000image37.png. Thus, all the procedures must be changed to using the hot water method currently outlined.

Improvement

        Further improvements include using better insulation, to reduce heat loss; this also provides more time to wait for thermal equilibrium to take temperature measurements. Also, by reducing the hot water temperature, the effect of conduction and convection would be reduced. A digital thermometer will greatly improve the errors in temperature measurements as it avoids reading error and great uncertainties. By sanding off the rust flakes that form on the surface, we can also reduce the effect of having impurities in the metal.

...read more.

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