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63

TheSpecificHeatofFourDifferentMetals

Description:Fourdifferentmetalrods(lead,iron,copper,andaluminum)areheatedand
thenplacedonablockofparaffinwax.

Concept:Dependingonthespecificheatofthemetal,thedifferentmetalswillbeable
tomeltmoreorlessparaffinwax.

Materials:
ParaffinCalorimeter(madeforFroshChem.inMachineShop)
Fourmetalrods:Lead,Iron,Copper,andAluminum(agiftfromPhysics)
Paraffinwax
Moldsforwax
Bunsenburnerwithstandtoholdbeakerorhotplate
coffeecan
beakerofwater

Elmoprojectorcanbeusedasavisualaidinrm.122

Procedure:
1.SetupBunsenburnerorhotplateandbeakerofboilingwater.

2.Placeparaffinwaxblockintocalorimeter.

3.Placefourmetalrodsintoboilingwaterforabout1minute.

4.Placehotmetalrodsintoapparatusasinthediagrambelow,makingsurethat
eachrodrestsonthewaxataboutthemiddleoftherod.

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Metal rods

paraffin
wax
Side View block

Pb
Fe Cu
Al

5.Allowmetalstomeltthroughthewax.Itisbesttoremovethemetalfromthe
waxwhilethewaxisstillsoft.Theleadrodwillbethefirsttocooloffandstopmelting
thewax,thentheironandcopper,andfinallyaluminum.Removeeachrodasitstops
meltingthewax.Putthemetalrodsbackintotheboilingwatertoremovethewax.

6.Labelthespacesinthewaxwiththecorrespondingmetal.

Background:
Specificheatisthequantityofheatrequiredtoraisethetemperatureofonegram
ofasubstancebyonedegreeCelsiusatconstantpressure.

Element Mass Density SpecificHeat* SinkInDepth^


(grams) (g/cm3) (J/g*C) (cm)
Pb 69.3 11.3 0.130 0.6
Al 67.8 2.7 0.901 3.1
Cu 66.4 8.9 0.384 1.8

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Fe 67.4 7.8 0.449 1.8
*at25 C
o

^resultsofatrialdonebyWilsonHammond,FormerLectureDemonstratorforPhysics

CleanUp:
Meltoffanywaxthatisleftonthemetalrodsintheboilingwater.Savethewax
block(itcanbereused).

Notes:
UsedinC100.

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