You are on page 1of 4

Experiment 302: Heat and Calorimetry

In the first part of the experiment, the specific heat of the two metals, brass
and aluminum, were obtained. The mass of the calorimeter (inner vessel), the two
metals, and the calorimeter with tap water was weighed using a digital weighing
scale. The temperature of the tap water in the calorimeter was measured. A beaker
was half-filled with tap water and was warmed up for a minimum of 30 minutes
and the aluminum metal was heated for the first trial. When water reaches its
boiling point, the metal immersed in the beaker is transferred to the calorimeter.
When the reading in the thermometer becomes stationary, this is then recorded as
the temperature of the mixture. The same procedure also applies to the brass metal
for the second trial. Moving on to the second part of the experiment, the latent heat
of fusion of ice was determined. The pre-heated water in the beaker from the first
part of the experiment was transferred in the calorimeter. A cube of ice was added
to the calorimeter and the phase change from solid to liquid was keenly observed.
When the ice liquefies, the temperature of the mixture is immediately recorded.
Two trials were performed.

From the relationship Qlost=Qgained, the equation

c m=

( mw c w+ mc c c ) (t mixtow )
mm (t omt mix )

was derived. This is used to calculate for the experimental value of the specific
heat of metals. The same relationship was used to formulate
Lf =

( mw c w +mc cc ) ( t ow t mix )mi c w t mix


which is used to compute for the experimental

value of the latent heat of fusion. Observing the variables in the equation, the latent
heat of fusion is inversely proportional to the mass of the ice. As the mass of the
ice decreases, the latent heat of fusion increases. The temperatures obtained from
the two parts of the experiment are at thermal equilibrium. This is necessary to
ensure that the data acquired is efficient. Since the concept of heat and calorimetry
is involved, the various masses and temperatures in the two equations are vital for
the calculations.

Expounding further, the process of determining the amount of heat

quantitatively is called calorimetry. It is based from the law of heat exchange
which states that in an isolated system, the heat given up by the hot body is equal
to the heat absorbed by the cold body. This is the basis for the derived equations in
the two parts of the experiment. Calorimeter is the apparatus used to perform
calorimetry. Related to calorimetry, specific heat is the amount of heat needed to
raise the temperature of a body. On the other hand, the latent heat is the amount of
heat needed to for a body to undergo phase change without any variations in
temperature. There are two types of latent heat: the latent heat of fusion and the
latent heat of vaporization. Only the latent heat of fusion was utilized in the
experiment and it is used to liquefy a solid without any adjustments in temperature.
These are the concepts that were exploited in the experiment.
Guide Questions
Part I:
1. Why is it important to immerse the metal in the boiling water for a long time?
The metal should be submerged extensively to ensure that the metal and the
boiling water would attain thermal equilibrium at 100oC.This is to guarantee that
the heat would penetrate deeply in the metal.
2. Why do you need to wipe off the water from the metals surface before dropping
it into the calorimeter?
Wiping off the moisture from the metal prevents additional water to blend in
the calorimeter. This would affect the final temperature of the mixture that could be
a possible source of error in this experiment.
3. Give one advantage and one disadvantage of using the stirrer of the calorimeter
in mixing the metal and water.
The stirrer would be advantageous because it would help the mixture to
reach thermal equilibrium faster. But on the other hand, if the stirrer would be used
for mixing, its mass should be included in the equation but for simple calculations,
its mass is assumed to be negligible.

Part II:
1. What is the initial temperature of the ice? How can you determine the
temperature of ice without using a thermometer?
The initial temperature of the ice is 0 oC. Knowing that ice is produced by
freezing water, its temperature can be obtained without the aid of a thermometer.
Converting water to ice requires phase change. Therefore, this transformation
happens at waters freezing point which is 0oC.
2. Why is it important to wipe off the water from the ices surface before putting it
in the calorimeter?
Wiping off the water from the ice is significant because it inhibits additional
water to mix in the calorimeter. This would affect the final temperature of the
experiment which could be a possible source of error for the experiment.
1. In part 1 of the experiment, would the result of the experiment improve if larger
masses of metals were used? Explain.
Increasing the masses of the metals will not improve the result of the
experiment and it is very impractical. Upon heating, larger masses of metals will
require additional amount of time for heat to be distributed equally. This will only
lengthen the performance of the experiment.
2. In part 2 of the experiment, is it better to use hot water in the calorimeter
compared to using just tap water? Why or why not?
The use of hot water is more advantageous because when the ice is
submerged in the calorimeter, phase change will occur rapidly and the temperature
of the mixture could be obtained easily and accurately. Unlike when typical tap
water is used, the phase change could require more time to happen and the
evidence of phase change could not be visible enough.

3. Give at least 2 possible sources of errors in the experiment. For each, give a
suggestion on how to minimize the error.
a. In both parts of the experiment, it is crucial to wipe off the moisture present in
the metal and the ice before transferring it into the calorimeter. The use of an
absorbent material like a tissue will be effective since it will suck up all the excess
b. Referring to the second part of the experiment, an erroneous value of the
temperature of the mixture could be encountered. This could happen when the
phase change of the ice has been complete and the observer did not record the
temperature at this instance. In order to avoid this, observations should be done
keenly and with much focus.
Calorimetry is a process to determine the effect of heat in a process.
Calorimeter is an apparatus which determines heat effect by direct measurement of
temperature. Moreover, heat has two major effects: the change in temperature
which involves the specific heat and the phase change which includes the latent
heat of fusion and heat of vaporization. Temperature change and phase change
happen alternately.
The concept of calorimetry is well-applied in the thermo chemistry field. It
is significant because it allows measurement of heat flow that happens within a
reaction. The study and process of calorimetry measures both the magnitude
(amount) and the direction of the heat flow. A reaction is considered endothermic if
the amount of heat exceeds zero. If the heat flow is below zero, it is considered
exothermic. Heat is the central component of calorimetry and it goes along with
masses and changes in temperature.