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Law of Specific Heats Lab Report

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Experiment No. 6
Experiment on Law of Specific Heats
Heat is a form of energy. It can never be created nor destroyed but it can be
transformed into other forms thus, it is conserved [1]. The higher the temperature of a
material, the more energy it possesses. As heat is absorbed by materials, their atoms
start to vibrate. These vibrations increases as the temperature rises.
Heat capacity is the amount of heat required to change the temperature of a
substance by one degree which is expressed as joules per Kelvin (J/K). It is an extensive
property, meaning it is dependent on the quantity of the material. On the other hand, both
specific heat capacity and molar heat capacity are intensive properties. Specific heat
capacity is the heat capacity per unit mass expressed in (J/g-K) while molar heat capacity
is the heat capacity per mole of a substance expressed in (J/mol-K).
Given the molar heat capacity or the specific heat for a pure substance, it is
possible to calculate the amount of heat required to change the temperature of a
substance by a given amount [2].
The apparatus and materials used in this experiment are Styrofoam cup, 1-L
beaker, test tubes, test tube holder, thermometer, hot plate and analytical balance. The
metals used are zinc, iron and copper.
For this experiment, the water bath was prepared first to allow to it boil while the
next steps of the procedure were being executed. The beaker was filled with enough
water and was placed in a hot plate to boil. Twenty to forty grams of zinc metals were
weighed in the analytical balance. The density of the zinc was determined by water
displacement. The zinc metals were placed in a graduated cylinder with 40 mL of water
and the initial and final volume of the water was recorded. Figure 1 shows the water
displacement of the zinc metals. The zinc metals were dried completely and were placed
in a large dry test tube. Then, the test tube was placed in the boiling water bath for 20-25
minutes until the temperature of the metals was near the boiling point of water. The metals
in the test tube were ensured to be beneath water level in the water bath for them to be
heated evenly, as shown in Figure 1. The initial temperature of the metals were measured
by placing the thermometer inside the test tube, touching the metals. The same procedure
was done with the copper and iron metal.

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