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# Determinating specific heat capacity, c

A simple way to calculate the specific heat capacity of a metal cylinder (the electrical method)
by

## Tom Atkinson

on 16 September 2012

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#### Transcript of Determinating specific heat capacity, c

In doing so we will cover:
The physics involved
How to gain the appropriate values
How to use these values to determine c This is the energy required per unit mass of a substance to raise it's temperature by 1K (or 1°C) What is specific heat capacity, c, of a substance?  A set potential difference and current supply the heating element in an immersion heater Particles within the cylinder gain kinetic potential energy and hence the internal energy of the metal cylinder increases This heats an attached wire, which in turn heats the connected cylinder So what are the physics involved Determining the specific heat capacity of a metal cylinder- the electrical method The resistance within the heating element causes it to dissipate heat The equipment you will need to calculate specific heat capacity, c An immersion heater Thermometer Joulemeter Balance Timer Heat-proof mat Leads, crocodile clips 4mm plugs and sockets Metal cylinder(s) Iron Aluminum Copper Weigh each of the metal cylinders before placing them on a heat-proof mat and covering each with an insulating coat The electrical method Using these values we can now calculate the S.H.C of each metal Method to calculate c Iron 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr Copper Aluminum Material Initial temperature T/ degrees Celsius Final temperature T/ degrees Celsius Change in temperature T/degrees Celsius Energy used by heater Q/J First set out a table to record your values Insert a thermometer in the hole half way along the radius and measure the initial temperature of the cylinder With each of the cylinders in turn Insert the prob of the immersion heater into the central hole of the cylinder You will need to measure the energy used by the heater, either by:
a joule meter
Or, by noting the current I, Voltage V and time t the heater is switched on
we will be using the latter method Switch on the heater for 300 seconds, and immediately switch off Wait until the thermometer has reached a maximum reading before recording the final temperature The particles of different substances have different masses I.e. an atom of iron is about twice the mass of an atom of aluminium. So, 1kg of aluminium must contain about twice as many atoms as 1kg of iron So why do different substances have different S.H.C's? Hence we would expect the specific heat capacity of aluminium to be about twice that of iron...as it is Insulating coat Ammeter and voltmeter Draw a change in temperature against change in time period graph for each metal as follows...  -1 -1 -1

Step 1: Divide both sides by the time interval
Q=mc T
 t t

As Q = Power and, T = Gradient
t t

We get P = m x c x gradient
Step 2: Calculate power and gradient
P=IV
Voltage and current supply remain constant hence for all metal cylinders this is:
P= 5 x 12 = 60W

Gradient = T = 14.0 = 0.047 C s
t 300
Step 3: substitute in values:
60 = 1 x c x 0.047
C = 60 = 1286 J Kg K
1 x 0.047 Converting the equation Q=mcT into a more applicable form enables us to calculate the specific heat capacity of each metal cylinder You should now be able to calculate the specific heat capacity c, of a metal cylinder You should now be able to calculate the specific heat capacity c, of a metal cylinder
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