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The metal used in this experiment to determine its specific heat capacity was aluminum and has an accepted specific heat capacity of 910 J kg-1 °C-1 Table 1: Measurements of Mass and Temperature throughout the experiment Try Mass of Beaker (kg) ± 0,00004 (kg) 0,15989 0,10452 0,15987 0,15987 0,15987 0,15987 Mass of Water + Beaker (kg) ± 0,00004 (kg) Mass of Metal (kg) ± 0,00004 (kg) Temperature of water (°C) ± 0,5 (°C) Temperature of metal (°C) ± 1 (°C) Thermal Equilibrium Temperature (°C) ± 0,5 (°C) 23,1 17,8 18,5 18,7 18,9 19,7

1 2 3 4 5 6

0,24576 0,19279 0,24478 0,24521 0,24866 0,24176

0,01185 0,01185 0,01185 0,01185 0,01185 0,01185

21,6 16,3 16,9 16,8 17,6 17,7

96,7 98,4 99,1 99,3 97,8 99,0

The specific heat capacity is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of a substance by 1 °C. The mathematic interpretation is the following: where c refers to the specific heat capacity, Q to heat, m to

the mass of the substance and ΔT to the change in temperature which is the final thermal equilibrium temperature minus the initial temperature of the substance. In the following experiment there was a thermal energy exchange or heat transfer mainly from the hot metal to the colder water. Thus after the exchange thermal equilibrium was achieved and the thermal equilibrium temperature was recorded. Rearranging the original equation we get Q= cmΔT. Since the amount of heat transferred and received is constant this means the heat received by the water is equal to the heat given out by the metal so Qwater = Qmetal thus cwatermwaterΔT = cmetalmmetalΔT. So knowing the specific heat capacity of water the specific heat capacity of the metal can be determined. The specific heat capacity of water is 4187 J kg-1 °C-1

6) = c (0. Thus when multiplying or dividing two certain quantities their percentage uncertainties add up. Mass of water Try 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mass of water (kg) ± 0.08491 0.01185)(23. This is done simply by subtracting the mass of the beaker + water from the mass of the beaker so Mass of water = (mass of water + beaker) – (mass of beaker) Table 2.00008 (kg) 0.3 % Percentage uncertainty in change of temperature of water: = ± 70% . In that case the percentage uncertainties of the mass and temperature will add up.1 – 96.1 – 21.08534 0.618.4 J kg-1 °C-1.08827 0.Since the mass of the beaker or the mass of the beaker + water is of no great use the mass of water must be deduced. Since we are dealing only with multiplications and divisions percentage uncertainties must be used. Percentage uncertainty of mass of water: = ± 0.08587 0.7) c = .08879 0. The uncertainties for that value are of a more complex process. The uncertainty of trial one is calculated below.09% Percentage uncertainty of mass of metal: = ± 0.08587)(23. However since we want to find only the specific heat capacity of the metal the direction of the heat transfer is negligible thus the absolute value of the calculated specific heat capacity is given which is in this case 618.08189 So the specific heat capacity of the metal for each trial can be now calculated using the fact of cwatermwaterΔT = cmetalmmetalΔT so for example try 1 is calculated below: (4187)(0. Note that the absolute uncertainty of the temperatures for water is ± 1 °C and for the metal ± 2 °C since we subtracted to find the change in temperature.4 J kg-1 °C-1 Note that the calculated value of the specific heat capacity is negative since it is the metal that is giving away the heat.

Percentage uncertainty in change of temperature of the metal: =±3% Therefore the final uncertainty of the calculated specific heat capacity is 0.7 Percentage Uncertainty (%) 70 100 60 60 80 50 Absolute Uncertainty ± (J kg-1 °C-1.1% less than the theoretical value.) 618. .09% + 0.4 580.9 729.9 % Therefore the final average specific heat capacity value is 31.3 715.2 516.) 400 600 400 400 400 400 Therefore the average specific heat capacity of that metal can be calculated which is the sum of the six tries divided by six: Average specific heat capacity = 627. Table 3.39 % however since uncertainties are given in 1 significant figure the uncertainty here will be ± 70% which is the same as ± 400 J kg-1 °C-1.2 J kg-1 °C-1 ± 70% or ± 400 J kg-1 °C-1 Percentage of the final average specific heat capacity value to the theoretical specific heat capacity value of aluminum: * 100 = 68.4 602.3% + 70% + 3% = ± 73. Calculated specific heat capacities with percentage and absolute uncertainties Try 1 2 3 4 5 6 Specific Heat Capacity (J kg-1 °C-1.2 J kg-1 °C-1 The average percentage uncertainty can also be calculated in the same way: Average percentage uncertainty = same as 400 J = 70 % which is the = kg-1 °C-1 So the final average value for the specific heat capacity of that metal is: 627.

when considering their high uncertainties the theoretical value is in all cases included within the uncertainty range.Conclusion – Evaluation Looking at the calculated values of the specific heat capacities for the metal which was aluminum the highest specific heat capacity value was calculated for trial six and the lowest specific heat capacity vale was calculated for trial five.1 % less than the theoretical value of 910 J kg-1 °C-1. It is also noticed from the calculations of the specific heat capacities of aluminum that all of them are systematically lower than the theoretical value of 910 J kg-1 °C-1 this is because of the various systematic errors that took place like the heat losses or the nonachievement of thermal equilibrium. Therefore as heat wasn’t completely transferred to the water the equilibrium temperature that was recorded was lower than what it would have been if the system was closed and insulated. Also mainly due to the high percentage uncertainties in the temperature of the water the calculated values for the specific heat capacities have a very high percentage error with an average of ± 70% and an average absolute uncertainty of ± 400 J kg-1 °C-1. they are explained in detail below. . Errors • Heat losses to the surroundings caused a decrease in the value of the temperature the thermal equilibrium temperature recorded (major systematic error) Since the system between the water and the aluminum wasn’t closed there were heat losses to the surroundings. However even though all the calculated values for all the trials are below the theoretical value.2 J kg-1 °C-1 ± 70% or ± 400 J kg-1 °C-1 The errors in the following experiment were many and of major importance as they greatly affected the results taken. Therefore the theoretical value was achieved when considering the uncertainties. Concluding the results of the experiment came up with the final average specific heat capacity of aluminum that includes the uncertainties which is the following: 627. Some of it escaped through the air or from the glass of the beaker as the water was in contact with the beaker. Calculated average for the specific heat capacity of aluminum shows that the value found is about 31. As the metal was place within the beaker with the water not all the heat was transferred from the metal to the water.

• Vaporization of the cool water caused an unrecorded decrease in the mass of the water thus a higher specific heat capacity value was calculated as the recorded mass is used before the vaporization. However the effect of this error is variable. If there is more mass of water the specific heat capacity is decreased however since the droplets of water are very hot then the change in the temperature will be higher thus a higher specific heat capacity. thus increasing the mass of the water present without recording it. • Water added with the placing of the metal or thermometer in the cool water affected the mass of the water present and the temperature. (very minor systematic error) . However the main source of the error comes when the metal had to be taken out and placed in the beaker with the cool water. (minor systematic error) As the thermometer was placed to measure the cool water it was much hotter than the cool water as it was measuring the temperature of the boiling water.• The temperature of the metal was most likely to be less than the temperature of the water than was in it. However this couldn’t always be practically achieved. Thus heat was transferred from the thermometer to the cool water making it hotter but also making the measurements more unstable and uncertain. Therefore the calculated value for the specific heat capacity of the metal was lower than what it would have been if using the real temperature of the metal. As it came out it comes in contact with the colder air the metal starts giving away heat thus its temperature decreases even though a higher one was recorded. • The placement of the thermometer into the cool water after it measured the boiling water transfers heat to the cool water causing its temperature to increase and be more unstable. thus consequently the calculated specific heat capacity (minor systematic error) As the thermometer or the metal was place out of the boiling water beaker they weren’t perfectly dry thus extra water droplets were added in the cool water beaker. thus a higher than the real temperature for the metal was used to calculate its specific heat capacity which made its value less than what it would have been if the real lower temperature of the metal was used. It is most likely though that the droplets are of too small in mass to be significant and that they will raise the temperature instead thus higher specific heat capacity. (major systematic error) Since the thermometer was recording the temperature of the boiling water with the metal inside it was assumed that the metal was in thermal equilibrium with the boiling water.

This will have as a result to decrease the heat transferred from the metal to the surroundings thus minimizing the effect of that heat exchange to change the temperature of the metal. thus the measurements used for the calculations will reflect more to the true value. Use two thermometers. Note that the major systematic errors are the main errors that caused the specific heat capacity of aluminum to be less than the theoretical.As the cooled water was let aside to wait for the metal to reach a certain temperature evaporation in the cool water was occurring thus little by little its mass was decreasing. The other minor errors that have as an affect to increase the specific heat capacity have simply a relatively very small effect compared to the first two major systematic errors. Improvements • Instead of using an open beaker with cool water the same experiment can be carried out in an isolation chamber where the water is placed in a small insulated chamber kept at a constant temperature. This will prevent the changes in temperature and gain in mass. Let the metal with the boiling water at least 10 minutes for each trial to ensure a thermal equilibrium between the metal and the boiling water for a more accurate measurement of the temperature of the water. Use a large enough beaker to be able to take out the metal faster and limit its contact with open air as it is transferred from the boiling water to the cool water bath. Cover the beaker with the cool water using a cap or gelatin in order to minimize the effects of the vaporization of the water.1 % less than the theoretical. • • • • In general the experiment was successful in calculating the specific heat capacity having averagely a value 31. Thus when the metal is placed in the isolation chamber the heat loses with be minimized and the temperature will be accurately recorded. This will have as an effect to decrease the heat loses thus increasing the calculated specific heat capacity of the metal. This will prevent the heat and water droplets transfer when moving the thermometer from the boiling water to the cool water. However the difference . one for measuring the temperature of the boiling water and one for the cool water. however at a relatively very small scale.

between the theoretical and the calculated isn’t great when considering the highly influential errors that occurred that have a large impact in the measurements taken. . After all when including the uncertainties for the calculated specific heat capacity value the theoretical value is within the reach.

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