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The experiment was to determine the specific heat of two metals, tin and
Safety goggles were required as we were dealing with boiling water. It is safe to
wear safety equipment because you can never tell when something may happen.
Celsius Thermometer (alcohol )
Calorimeter (two Styrofoam cups, one inside the other, and a cover with a slit for the
3 small pieces of aluminum and a tin cylinder
150 mL Beaker
First we filled the beaker almost full with water and heated it on the ring stand
using the burner. While we waited for the water to boil we found the mass of the
calorimeter. We then filled the calorimeter partially with tap water. We determined the
mass of the calorimeter and the water together. Then we determined the mass of the water
itself by subtracting the mass of the calorimeter from the mass of the water and the
calorimeter together. We then took the temperature of the cool water in the calorimeter.
Next we measured the mass of the tin cylinder. Then we tied a piece of string to the
cylinder and lowered it into the boiling water. We left the cylinder in the boiling water for
about 5 minutes. Then we took the temperature of the boiling water- note: the
temperature of the boiling water was the same as that of the heated cylinder. Next we
removed the cylinder from the boiling water, quickly placing it in the calorimeter and
placing the cover on top. We recorded the final temperature of the water in the
calorimeter- note: the final temperature of the water is also the final temperature of the
metal. We then calculated the temperature change of the water and the temperature
change of the metal. We repeated this with the aluminum.
Calculations for Aluminum-note: Heat Gained By Water = Heat Lost By Metal.
Heat Gained By Water = (mass of water) x (specific heat of water)
x (temperature change of water)
Heat Gained By Water = (109.45g) x (1 cal./g*C) x (2.9*C)
Heat Gained By Water = 317.4 cal.
Heat Lost By Metal = (mass of metal) x (specific heat of metal)
x (temperature change in metal)
317.4 cal. = (2.2g) x (specific heat of metal) x (67*C)
317.4 cal. = (147.4) x (specific heat of metal)
Specific Heat of Metal = 2.2 cal./g*C
Calculations for Tin
Heat Gained By Water = 249 cal.
Specific Heat of Metal = .13 cal./g*C
% Error = true - Exp. x 100
% Error for Aluminum
% Error = .22 cal./g*C - 2.2 cal./g*C x 100
% Error = 900
% Error for Tin
% Error = .56 cal./g*C - .13 cal./g*C x 100
% Error = 76.8
Reasons for Error:
Some of the reasons for error may be as follows;
Type of equipment.
Quality of equipment.
Time allotted for experiment.
Time taken on experiment.
In doing this experiment I have learned how to determine the specific heat of a
metal. I have learned some new equations and formulas. My partner and I did not seem to
be very accurate in our calculations of the specific heat for the metals we tested. I hope to
do better in any further experiments of this kind and willingly invite anyone to use this
report as a reference.
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Measuring instruments, Calorimetry, Laboratory equipment, Temperature, Heat transfer, Calorimeter, Heat, Thermodynamic temperature, Properties of water, Thermometer, Water vapor, Calorimeter constant
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