PURPOSE: To illustrate calorimitry and to determine experimentally the specific heats of aluminum and of copper.

DESCRIPTION: Boil the aluminum and copper blocks in a pan of water and place the metal blocks at 100 degrees C into equal amounts of water at room temperature in two styrofoam containers. Stir the water in the containers with the digital thermometer probe, measuring the temperature when equilibrium is reached. From these measurements the specific heats can be determined.

Multiply the specific heat by the molar mass to find the molar specific heat. The values for both materials are nearly the same and equal to 3R=6(1/2)kT.


REFERENCES: (PIRA 4B10.28) See Demonstration Reference File for sample data, which is also delivered with the demonstration.

EQUIPMENT: Copper and aluminum 1 kg masses, styrofoam buckets each with 1 kG of room-temperature water, pan balance, hot plate with pan and boiling water, hook for lifting hot masses, digital thermometer with probe.

SETUP TIME: 10 min.

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