In summary, the student is trying to correct for the unknown heat capacities of everything but the water in order to find the specific heat capacity of water. They have attempted to use the equations c = 1/m * (dQ/dT) and C = dQ/dT, but have been unsuccessful. They have also tried the equation Ctotal = Cwater + Cother for each trial, but have not been able to solve for Cother.

## Homework Statement

I heated 50mL of water in a Dewar and measured the temp. change with time. however, this only gives me the heat capacity of the system. I again measured but with 100mL of water, in an attempt to correct for the unknown heat capacity of everything but the water. However, after hours of trying, i can't figure out how to correct for the heat capacity of everything else. This is due tomorrow and is for a University thermodynamics course, I could really use the help.

trial 1: dQ=258.5J, dT=0.981 K, m=0.050 kg
trial 2: dQ = 1180.2J, dT=2.230 K, m=0.100kg

I am trying to correct for the unknown heat capacities of everything but the water in an attempt to find the specific heat capacity of water. It seems like simple algebra but its not working out.

## Homework Equations

c (specific heat capacity) = 1/M (dQ/dT)

C (heat capacity) = dQ/dT

## The Attempt at a Solution

I tried Ctotal = Cwater + Cother for each and equated Cother to no luck... i tried everything i can think of

I'm not sure I like you using dQ... I think it should just be Q.

But let's start with getting your algebra started on the right track. You say you tried Ctotal = Cwater +Cother for each trial? Let's just double check... you should have two equations:
Ct1 = Cw1 + Co
Ct2 = Cw2 + Co

where do you go from there?

## 1. What is specific heat capacity?

Specific heat capacity is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one degree Celsius.

## 2. Why is it important to measure specific heat capacity?

Measuring specific heat capacity can help us understand how different substances respond to changes in temperature and how they store and release energy. This information is useful in many industries, such as engineering, thermodynamics, and materials science.

## 3. How is specific heat capacity measured in a lab?

In a laboratory setting, specific heat capacity is typically measured by using a calorimeter to measure the change in temperature of a known mass of a substance when a known amount of heat is added or removed.

## 4. What are some common sources of error in a specific heat capacity lab?

Some common sources of error in a specific heat capacity lab include heat loss to the surrounding environment, incomplete mixing of substances, and measurement errors.

## 5. What are some real-world applications of specific heat capacity?

Specific heat capacity has many real-world applications, such as in designing and testing insulation materials, determining the energy efficiency of buildings, and understanding the effects of temperature on chemical reactions. It is also important in fields such as meteorology, where it helps to predict weather patterns and climate change.

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