Education Technology

Specific Heat of Metals

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will use a Temperature Sensor to understand how heat is transferred between substances and the concept of thermal equilibrium. They learn about specific heat and how it can be used to identify an unknown sample.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the TI-73 to the CBL 2 unit
  • Plug the temperature sensor in Channel 1 on the CBL 2
  • Download TI-GRAPH LINK™ or TI Connect™ to analyze data on the computer
  • Download the DataMate™ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 95 - 101 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class

    Follow the Activity procedure:

  • Find the mass of the unknown sample
  • Find the mass of the empty calorimeter
  • Find the mass of the 100 ml water at room temperature and calorimeter, and determine the mass of the water and its temperature
  • Place the unknown sample in the water and bring the water to a boil and note its temperature
  • Remove the sample from the boiling water and gently place it in the calorimeter
  • Measure the final temperature of the water and the sample in the calorimeter
  • Calculate the specific heat of the sample
  • Using the table of specific heats, identify the unknown sample
  • After the Activity

    Students' will complete Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary