To Determine Specific Heat Capacity of Given Solid by Method of Mixtures

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The specific capacity of heat is defined as the amount of heat which is required for one gram of substance at 1⁰C. To understand how to determine the specific heat capacity of a given solid by the method of mixtures we need to read the full article.

Aim of the Experiment: 

To determine the specific heat capacity of a given solid by method of mixtures.

The materials which are required

  1. The  Hypsometer

  2. The calorimeter

  3. The stirrer

  4. A lid 

  5. A solid which is in small pieces

  6. The balance

  7. The Weight box

  8. The Two half-degree of thermometer

  9. Some Coldwater

  10. The Clamp stand


Determination of Specific Heat of a Solid

It is very important to note for us that in this experiment the better insulated our calorimeter is the more accurate our results will be. The loss of heat by conduction is the main cause of error in this experiment.

The theory behind this specific heat test is based on the conservation of energy. Heat is a form of energy and in this case, it will be transferred between the sample and water. It should now be clear how convenient this specific capacity of heat test is because the only reason to perform this experiment is to measure the change in temperature of the water which is indirect of the change in heat of the solid.

The Theory 

In a hypsometer, the solid is heated uniformly above room temperature up to a fixed temperature and then it is added to cold water in a calorimeter.

Loss of heat = heat gained by the calorimeter and water.

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  1. Put two thermometers that are A and B in a beaker that are containing water and note their reading.  Take one of them (say A) to be standard and find the correction to be applied to the other that is B.

  2. Now we need to put thermometer B in a copper tube of a hypsometer containing the power of a given solid. We need to put sufficient water in the hypsometer and place it on a burner.

  3. Weigh the calorimeter with a stirrer and lid over it by the physical balance. We need to record it.

  4. Then fill about half of the calorimeter with water that too at about 5 to 8°C below room temperature. Now we need to weigh it again and record it.

  5. Heat the hypsometer about 10 minutes till the temperature of the solid remains steady.

  6. Next we need to note the temperature of water in the calorimeter. Transfer the solid from the hypsometer to the calorimeter quickly and then stir the contents and record the final temperature of the mixture.

  7. Then in the end we need to remove the thermometer A from the calorimeter and weigh the calorimeter with its contents and lid.

The Result:

The specific heat of given solid by method of mixture is…………cal g-1 °C-1

The Precautions: 

  1. Sufficient solid power should be taken to cover the tip of the thermometer properly.

  2. Sufficient water should be taken in the hypsometer.

  3. The solid should be dropped quickly and gently.

  4. The calorimeters generally should be polished from outside to avoid excessive radiation losses.

  5. The temperature of cold water should not be below the dew point.

The Sources of Error: 

  1. There is some heat lost while transferring hot solid into a calorimeter.

  2. There may be some heat  lost in conduction, convection and radiation.

  3. The bulbs which are on the thermometer may not be well inside the solid.

The specific heat of solid is already calculated earlier.

Heat Capacity of Solids

The heat capacity of a substance is related to how much energy it takes to raise the temperature of that substance by one unit. It depends upon how much of the substance is being considered in terms of the amount of energy standardized per unit of the substance. The standardized unit  could be a unit of mass. The standardized unit that generally makes comparison between different substances easiest is a mole amount containing Avogadro's number which is 6.025×1023 of molecules or the atoms as single unit molecules.

The capacity of heat per unit substance (denoted by C) is the increase in internal energy of a substance U. Per unit increase in temperature is denoted by  T:C = (∂U/∂T)

We need to note that the surface area of our sample is in relation to its mass. The more the mass of our sample, the more heat it will absorb and then give off, which means the result will be more accurate. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Explain How You Would Determine the Specific Heat Capacity of a Solid?

Ans: The specific heat capacity of a solid can be determined by the following steps:

  • Record the weight of the calorimeter with a stirrer and lid over it. 

  • Add water with a temperature which is between 5 to 80C to the calorimeter at half-length and weigh it again. 

  • Heat the hypsometer till the temperature of the solid is steady. 

  • We need to note the temperature of water in calorimetry.

Q2. Explain How You Find the Specific Heat of a Mixture?

Ans: To find the total mass we will have to add the masses of both liquids together. To find the average heat specific capacity we will have to divide the total heat capacity by the total mass of the material as per specific heat capacity.

Q3. Explain What are the Materials Required to Determine the Specific Heat of Solid?

Ans: The materials which are required are: the calorimeter, the thermometer, the Stirrer, water, the steam heater, the wooden box and solid whose 'S' to be found.

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