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Calorimetry question (unaccounted heat loss)

  1. Oct 24, 2012 #1
    1. An acid-base neutralization reaction is exothermic. For the measurement of the enthalpy of neutralization, for the reaction, heat is inevitably lost to the calorimeter (beaker or styrofoam cup). How will this unaccounted for heat loss affect the reported value for the enthalpy of neautralization for the reaction?



    2. enthalpy (heat) of neutralization = heat released by neutralization reaction / moles of acid or base that react



    3. The attempt at a solution..I'm stumped, I need someone smarter than me to explain this to me.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2012 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Imagine the heat is lost so fast you don't observe a temperature change inside the calorimeter. What would be the determined enthalpy of neutralization?
     
  4. Oct 27, 2012 #3
    Considering you didn't answer my question... how does that explain anything?
     
  5. Oct 28, 2012 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    It does. If you don't see how, please answer and I will try to guide you to the moment when you will understand.
     
  6. Oct 28, 2012 #5
    Think about your tools... the thermometer itself has to react in order to measure the temperature change. If it's measurement is off (as all measurements are), then how will that affect your analysis of what's happening?

    If you've actually lost 10 units, but your measurement is showing that you lost 8 units, how will that affect your calculations?
     
  7. Oct 28, 2012 #6
    ps.:
    If glass is a better conductor, then heat will move through it faster, right? If more heat leaves rather than being measured by the thermometer, then... ?

    By the way, I hate these questions. They're dumb, because this is stuff that you'll come to realize on your own. This crap is just teachers trying to come up with something to trip up some students to prevent everyone from getting good grades. It's dumb.
     
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