Specific Heat of Metals Lab Experiment

This experiment was conducted to identify a quantity of unknown metal using calorimeter and conservation of heat principles and determine specific heat of metals.

Specific Heat of Metal by definition: The heat required to raise the temperature of the unit mass of a given substance by a given amount (usually one degree).

William Cleghorn¬†invented the concept of specific heat to explain the different amounts of thermal energy that different materials absorb when their temperatures increase. He’d measured latent heats — the thermal energy you have to transfer into a liquid when you boil it.

Density Table
Trial 1 Trial 2
Initial Height (cm)

13.1

20.8

Final Height (cm)

13.2

21

Change

0.2

0.2

Volume

5.67

5.67

Density (g/cm3

11.2

11.1

Density Table
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3
Mass

15.4

6.5

9.7

Radius

0.725

0.53

Volume

1.596

0.097

1.12

Density

9.64

9.33

8.67

Specific Heat Calculations Trial 1 Trial 2
Mass Inner Cup (g)

53.5

53.6

Mass of Metal (g)

63.4

63.15

Mass of Calorimeter Cup (g)

27.15

27.15

Mass of Water (g)

113.05

114.2

Tm degrees Celcius

98.3

97.2

Tw degrees Celcius

16.2

15

Tf degrees Celcius

20.8

19.4

 

Conclusion
The sample has been identified as nickel, with an experimental specific heat of 459 (J/kg.K). The experimental value has 3.27% error when compared to the accepted value of 444 (J/kg.K). Error is mostly due to heat loss in surroundings and variations in actual specific heats.