Specific Heat Lab

Specific Heat Lab

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The purpose of this lab was to calculate the specific heat of a metal cylinder


1. The 100ml Graduated cylinder was filled with water and a rubber stopper.

2. The metal was placed in the Graduated cylinder, water displacement was found.

3. The beaker was filled with water and the metal was placed in the water.

4. The Bunsen burner was lit.

5. The water in the beaker was boiled using the Bunsen burner.

6. The Styrofoam cup was filled with approximately 100ml of water.

7. The temperature of the water in the Styrofoam cup was found.

8. The temperature of the boiling water was found.

9. The thermometer was cooled.

  1. The metal cylinder was removed from the boiling water and placed in the Styrofoam cup using tongs.
  2. The temperature of the water and the metal cylinder was measured.


Theory of Water of Displacement: A volume of water was measured. A second volume of water was measured when the metal cylinder was added. The initial volume was subtracted from the second (total) volume to get the volume of the metal cylinder.

D=M/V M=DV therefore: M=D(T-I)

q=M½DT½Cp qgained=qlost

qmetal=Mmetal(Ti-Tf)Cpmetal qH2O=(DH2OV)(Tf-Ti)CpH2O qmetal=qH2O


Mmetal(Ti-Tf)Cpmetal=(DH2OV)(Tf-Ti)CpH2O CpH2O=4.

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Volume of water without metal- 49.60ml

Volume of water with metal- 56.00ml

Ti of metal- 103.0°c

Tf of metal- 28.9°c

Volume of water- 100.10ml

Ti of H2O- 24.4°c

Tf of H2O- 28.9°c


(.99732g/ml x 100.10ml(28.9°c-24.4°c)4.184j/g°c)




The specific heat of Iron was calculated to be 0.503j/g°c.

The error analysis of this experiment was ç.4494 j/g°c -.5033 j/g°c ç/.4494 j/g°c x 100 = 11.93%

The metal cylinder was identified as iron because the density found was closest to the theoretical density of iron. The experimental data that was calculated was not accurate according to the theoretical data. This could be for various reasons. A mass scale was not used in this experiment. Therefore the volume was found by water displacement and then calculated using the theoretical density, which was 7.874g/ml. The metal cylinder was iron. This experiment could be improved by using a mass scale to find the mass of the metal cylinder.

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