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Thermodynamics Lab

Purpose:

The purpose of this lab was to learn how to identify unknown metals by their density and specific heat capacity and also to learn how to use the equation Q=m c T.

Materials:

1. Alcohol burner with stand and fuel 2. Six types of metal 3. One triple beam balance 4. One cm tape measure 5. Two beakers 6. One thermometer 7. Matches 8. Protective gear safety glasses, gloves, tongs 9. Water 10. Calculator 11. Paper and pencils 12. Two people

Procedure:

Part 1: Finding the Density of the Metals

1. Find the mass of one of the metals using the triple beam balance. 2. Find the volume of one of the metals by measuring the width, length and height of the metal. 3. Multiply the numbers together to get the volume of the metal. 4. Use the equation Density = Mass/Volume to find the density of the metal. 5. Repeat the process for each metal.

Part 2: Preparing the Materials 1. Measure out 100 milliliters of water in each beaker.

2. Place one full beaker on the stand above the alcohol burner. 3. Light the alcohol burner. 4. Wait for the water to boil.

1. After the water in beaker one is boiling, gently place one of the metal samples in it. 2. Wait for three minutes. 3. Measure the temperature of the water in both of the beakers. 4. Remove the metal from beaker one using the tongs and place it in beaker two. 5. After two minutes measure the temperature change in beaker two. 6. Repeat the process for all of the metals.

Data:

2 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 Specific Heat Capacity 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 5 10 Density 15 20 25 Actual Metals Our Metals

Number

Estimate Metal

Actual Metal

1 2 3 4 5 6

Data Analysis:

We were able to determine the type of metal accurately by using the density and specific heat capacity that we found during this lab. We only guessed wrong on two metals, zinc and steel. We thought that zinc was cast iron and that the steel was tin. We thought that number four was cast iron instead of zinc because the density was closer to cast iron and the specific heat capacity was so low that it did not match any of the metals that had a density close to 6.537g. We thought that number six was steel because although our density was closer to that of steel, the specific heat capacity was only a few degrees above the specific heat capacity of tin. When trying to identify the metals we relied more on the density than the specific heat capacity of the metal because the density was more accurate and had less chance of human error being involved. Another reason for doing this lab was to learn how to find the specific heat capacity of a metal by using the equation Q=m c T. Q=Total energy M=Mass C= Specific heat capacity T=Change in temperature

An example of this is finding the specific heat capacity of the brass. First, the mass of the water is needed, 100 milliliters or grams. Then the specific heat capacity of water is needed, 4.18 J/g c and the change in temperature for brass which was 2 c. The change in temperature is determined by how much the water in beaker two rose after placing the heated metal in it. Multiplying all the numbers together will get the total energy or Q. The equation now looks like this; (100g)(4.18 J/g c) (2c)=m c T

To find the other half of the equation the mass of the metal is needed which for brass was 66.1g. The specific heat capacity is what is being solved for. The change in temperature is how much the temperature of the metal changed after being removed from beaker one. Subtracting the temperature of beaker two, after the metal has been in it, from the boiling temperature of beaker one will give the change in temperature for the metal. 93c (boiling temperature of the water) 32 c (Temperature of beaker two after the metal has been placed in it) = 61c (The change in temperature)

Adding both sides together and then solving for x(c) will give the specific heat capacity.

Error Analysis:

There were several human errors in this lab that may have caused the data to be incorrect. The first one happened when we were moving the metal from beaker one to beaker two. The amount of time that it took for us to move the metal caused a large percent of heat to be lost. This caused the change in temperature to be lower than it should have been. Having better tongs would make it easier to grab the metal from the boiling water and quickly move it to beaker two. Another place where human error occurred is when we were finding the volume of the metal. The method that we used simply calculated width, length and height of the metal but the metal had imperfections in its shape that caused errors in calculations. One way that we could have avoided this is by using a different method that was more accurate.

Conclusion:

By doing this lab I learned how to identify a metal by its density and specific heat capacity. I also learned how to find the density and specific heat capacity of a metal using a small amount of materials and time. Another thing I learned is that when working with heat and temperature change, it is important to work fast so that heat is not lost.

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