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Heat capacity - Lab Report Example

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The heat energy that is lost by the hotter object is absorbed by the object with the lower temperature.
Calculating specific heat capacities involves the use of a calorimeter and a known mass of water. The calorimeter is designed in such a way that heat is not lost to or gained from the surrounding air (Laider). Since no heat is lost, then it can be safely assumed that heat lost or gained by the object inside the calorimeter is the same as the heat lost or gained by the water contained in the calorimeter.
A known mass of water was heated using an electrical heating wire. The initial and final temperatures of the water were measured and recorded, as well as the current, voltage and the time that the electric switch was turned on.
For liquid nitrogen, a known amount of heat was applied to liquid nitrogen. The quantity of liquid nitrogen that boiled away was measured by finding the difference between the initial and final masses. The flask with the liquid nitrogen was placed on a balance and the electrical heater lowered into the liquid nitrogen. The vaporization rate of the liquid nitrogen was measured after every ten seconds and recorded.
Temperature (T) was plotted against time. The change in temperature was then used in the calculation of Cwater. (IVT)/ ΔT was plotted against the mass of water. The slope of the curve was found to be Cwater:
From (IVT)/ ΔT, the value of IVT can be calculated by replacing ΔT in the equation (IVT)/ ΔT with the value in the table that corresponds to ΔT and then solving for (IVT). This gives a value of 50240.1601.
The specific heat capacity of water of successfully determined, along with the latent heat of vaporization for liquid nitrogen. The measured and calculated results may have errors because of the possibility that experimental errors occurred during heat transfer to the surrounding and also not taking the ...Show more


Water and liquid nitrogen were heated using electrical wire. The results obtained indicated that the latent heat of vaporization of nitrogen was…
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