# Physics Required Practical: Specific Heat Capacity

Includes;

- The Method (In Blue)

- Common Mistakes (In Yellow)

- Safety Notes (In Pink)

• Created by: Hannah
• Created on: 19-03-19 13:04
• Physics Required Practical: Specific Heat Capacity
• 1. Choose your material, for example, a Copper or Aluminium block, and measure its mass, in kg.
• 2. Wrap insulation around the material. Then smear petroleum jelly around the bulb end of the thermometer. Put the thermometer in the small hole in the block.
• 3. Measure the starting temperature of the block.
• 4. Put a heater in the larger hole of the block. Connect the ammeter, power pack and heater in series. Then connect the voltmeter across the power pack.
• 5. Turn the power pack to 12 V and switch it on. Start the stopwatch as you turn on the power pack.
• 6. Record the ammeter and voltmeter readings every 60 seconds. Also record the temperature of the metal block every 60 seconds.
• 7. After 10 minutes, turn off the power pack. Keep the thermometer in the metal block for a while longer. Record the maximum temperature of the metal block, this may be a little while after you've turned off the power pack.
• 8. Calculate the power of the heater and record the values. Then calculate the energy transferred up to each time point. Use the equations: power = potential difference x current and; energy = power x time.
• 9. Plot the results on a graph, with temperature change on the y-axis and energy transferred on the x-axis.
• Remember to measure the mass of the metal block.
• The heating element should fit very snugly into the metal block, but there may be a small layer of air. Add a drop of water before you put the heating element in to improve transfer of energy between the heating element and metal block.
• Be sure to heat the block for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise you won't be able to draw a graph with a good range of results.
• Don't forget to calculate the gradient from the graph. This, and the mass of the block, will be needed to work out the specific heat capacity of your metals.
• Wear eye protection at all times.
• The heating element will get very hot. Take care not to burn yourself.
• If any of the equipment is damaged, do not use it.
• If you scald yourself with hot water, cool the burn under cold running water immediately.