# Calculating the specific heat of a metal

The Specific Heat of a Metal

1. Purpose: to determine the specific heat of a substance.

1. Materials:
• 50-mL beaker
• 250-mL beaker
• 400-mL beaker
• Large test tube
• Glass stirring rod
• Utility clamp
• Ring stand
• Ring support
• Hot plate
• Electric balance
• Plastic foam cup
• Thermometer
• Distilled water

1. 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. Between 80 g and 120 g of lead shot was then added to the beaker and their combined mass was measured and recorded.
3. The lead shot was then transferred to a large, dry test tube. The utility clamp was used to suspend the test tube in the boiling water; the lead shot was below the level of the water in the beaker. The test tube was then left in the boiling for 10 minutes.
4. While the lead shot was heating, 100 mL of distilled water was measured I na graduated cylinder. The water was poured into a plastic foam cup that was placed in a 250-mL beaker for support.
5. The temperature of the water in the plastic cup and the water in the boiling bath was measured.
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.

1. 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 heat that was lost by the metal would be the heat gained by the distilled water and the specific heat of the metal could be ...

#### Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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”.

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.