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University of Salahaddin   -   College of Science   -   Physics Department

Second Class   -   First Course   -   2004-2003

Heat & Thermodynamics Experiments   -  The Theory & Method

Exp. (5)

The specific heat capacity of a bad conductor by the methodof mixtures


A calorimeter, thermometer 0-100C in 0.1 C, steam heater, a large rubber stopper (or a piece of glass), and a stop glass.


1-Weigh the stopper and place it in the steam heater, leave it there for at least (30-40) minutes.

2-Weigh the calorimeter empty (mc ). Fill it with water about half full, weigh it again (mc+mw). Determine the mass of water (mw).

3-After leaving the stopper in the steam heater for enough time (step1). Transfer the stopper into the calorimeter, at the same time start the stopwatch.

4-Read the thermometer every half minute and continue until the mixture attains considerably a steady temperature. If the calorimeter is not well thermally isolated the temperature may fall after reaching it's highest value. In that case you must continue recording temperature until it falls down bv nearlv 2C.


Plot a graph versus temperature, see figure (8-1). The solid line is from actual redding (and it not fall down that much if the calorimeter is thermally well isolated).

In this experiment heat is lost by the rubber stopper, which is equal to:

ms Cs s -θf )

On the other hand, heat is gained by the calorimeter and water, which is equal to:

(mc Cc +  mw Cw)(θf - θi )                                 

Since the two quantities are equal then:

ms Cs s -θf ) = (mc Cc +  mw Cw)(θf - θi )              


Now if the calorimeter is not well thermally isolated and the room temperature is well below 25C, the temperature curve will fell down indeed and you should make correction to the final temperature.


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