1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Experiment to find specific heat of a liquid

  1. Apr 28, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Determine the specific heat of a liquid USING a resistance heater.
    Exact problem - Design an experiment complete with instrumentation to determine the specific heats of a liquid using a resistance heater. Discuss how experiment will be conducted, what measurements need to be taken, and how the specific heats will be determined. What are the sources of error in your system? How can you minimize the experimental error? How would you modify this system to determine the specific heat of a solid?

    2. Relevant equations
    For specific heat - VIt = mcT

    3. The attempt at a solution
    This is our group project and we will be conducting this experiment.
    This was the experiment which was planned was as follows -
    Heat some water or some other liquid USING a resistance heater.
    Then measure the change in temperature.
    Also measure the amount of electrical energy (Welec,in)
    Also insulate or take into account the heat loss to the surroundings.

    So i wanted to know ways to make this experiment better.
    And how to make a liquid resistance heater, which will also allow us to measure the amount of electrical energy.
    Any other good suggestions?

    Thanks =)
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2012 #2
    Thank you for you ask this question, I also need to answer as soon as

    Can anyone help us?
  4. Jan 11, 2012 #3
    You might be better off purchasing an electrical resistance heater. You could do some wiring and put it in series with a digital multimeter to determine the current flow and voltage drop being aware of maximum load on the miltimeter. From that you could determine the power and energy input if you time the heating period. Also for around $15 US you can purchase an electrical device that measures instantaneous volts, amperes, watts, time, phase angle, and cumulative KWHrs. It plugs into the AC wall outlet and the heat source plugs into it.

    The temperature will also have to me measured accurately and you'll have to ensure the bath temperature is uniform. If you do any mechanical agitation, it must also be included in your energy input.

    Heat losses are a top concern. It must be insulated well. Don't forget about the thermodynamics of the liquid's container.
  5. Jan 11, 2012 #4

    Thanks for your help

    May I ask you another question?

    What we can do to modify this experiment to make it measures the specific heat of solids too ?
  6. Jan 12, 2012 #5
    Hint: If you place the solid in the liquid with each at a different known temperature, what happens after sufficient time passes?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook