# Calorimetry Lab - Data Collection and Processing

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Calorimetry Lab

Data Collection and Processing

The purpose of this lab is to determine the identity of an unknown metal using an experimentally-derived specific heat.

 Trial 1 Trial 2 Mass of Metal 49.239 ± .001g 40.872 ± .001g Mass of Water 24.440 ± .001g 24.191± .001g Initial Temp of Hot Metal 102 ± .5oC 102 ± .5oC Initial Temp of Water 22 ± .5oC 23 ± .5oC Temp of Mixture 34 ± .5oC 34 ± .5oC Temp Change of Metal 68 ± .5oC 68 ± .5oC Temp Change of Water 12 ± .5oC 11 ± .5oC

To calculate the heat energy gained by the water, use q=mcΔT.

Trial 1: (24.440 ± .001g)(4.184 J/goC)(12 ± .5oC)=1227 ± 51J

Trial 2: (24.191± .001g)(4.184 J/goC)(11 ± .5oC)=1113 ± 51J

To calculate the specific heat of the metal, set q of the water equal to mcΔT of the metal.

Trial 1: 1227 ± 51J= (49.239 ± .001g)(c=specific heat)(68 ± .5oC)                c=.366 ± .018 J/goC

Trial 2: 1113 ± 51J= (40.872 ± .001g)(c=specific heat)(68 ± .5oC)                c=.401 ± .021 J/goC

The average specific heat is: .384 ± .020 J/goC

On the chart of specific heats given to us, the closest value was that of copper, .385 J/goC.

The percent error is therefore:

 .385 J/goC - .384 ± .020 J/goC .385 J/goC

= .260 ± .014 %

Conclusion and Evaluation

From the experimental data and calculations, the specific heat of .384 ± .020 J/goC led us to believe the identity of the unknown metal was copper. The percent error was very low, a mere .260 ± .014 %. However, this was only achieved after the averaging of the data from two trials. To achieve better accuracy and precision of the experiments, many methods can be taken to avoid unnecessary discrepancies. Firstly, our calorimeter was just two Styrofoam cups stacked upon each other. This leaves a lot of room for error because much heat can be lost to both the surrounding and the calorimeter itself, yielding inaccurate results. A more technologically advanced calorimeter can limit the amount of energy loss. Additionally, temperature readings can be improved by using more accurate thermometers, as we only had normal glass thermometers. The class period was only 1 hour, unlike the AP’s class of an hour and a half. If we had more time, we could’ve performed more trials and decreased the effect of random error in our experiments.

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