Specific Heat Experiment

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THE SPECIFIC HEAT CAPACITY OF WATER AND METAL

INTRODUCTION. When the same amount of heat is transferred to two different objects, there is an increase in internal energy by the same amount but this does not necessarily cause a rise in temperature (Hudson, ND). The effect of heat transfer on temperature depends on the amount of heat energy transferred, the mass of the object and the specific heat capacity of the material of which the material involved is made (Hudson, ND). Therefore, the specific heat capacity of a substance is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1Kg of the substance by 1 kelvin (Hudson, ND). Due to the differences in the molecular structures of various materials, they would have different
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The mass of the substance was measure on a scale balance. Also the temperature of the substance (water or metal) was measured using a thermometer at a given time. A pre-heated immersion heater was placed in the substance and allowed to cool off. Therefore in the case heat was being transferred from the heater to the substance (water/ metal). The specific heat capacity was calculated.

THEORY. For a definite amount of energy, ∆E, transferred to a material, the temperature change, ∆θ is related to the mass of the material, m, and the specific heat capacity, c, is expressed as (Hudson, ND): ∆E=mc∆θ
Rearranging the above, c= ∆E/ m∆θ From the above, the mass is measured in Kilogram (kg), whereas the temperature (∆θ) measured in Kelvin (K). The energy transferred is measured in Joules (J). To this end, the unit for specific heat capacity is Jkg-1K-1.

APPARATUS USED FOR THE EXPERIMENT. 1 x 12V immersion heater. 1 x 500mL beaker 2 x 1kg block of metal with two holes. 1 x Thermometer -10 to 110℃ 1 x 12V power supply
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The masses of the blocks were measured and came up to 1.011Kg for copper and 1.009Kg for aluminum. The temperature was also taken before heating and after heating. From these measurements, the rise in temperature was obtained by finding the difference between the initial and final temperature. The voltage and current applied were also calculated. Finally, the electrical energy converted to heat was calculated. The voltage, current and time was considered. Therefore; Volt x ampere x time = Q Q (Copper) = 10.020 x 3.261 x (60 x 8) = 15684.12J Q (Aluminum) = 9.997x 3.254 x (60 x 8) = 15614.51J
Having obtained this, the specific heat of water was calculated using the formula, Q/m∆T.The SHC for the copper at 8 minutes was calculated to 775J/Kg℃. At 8 minutes, the SHC for aluminum was calculated to 1031.68 JKg℃.

UNCERTAINTY. No measurement is totally complete without a considering an inherent error. Uncertainties cannot be avoided by being careful therefore it is necessary to ensure that they are as small as

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