Specific Heat and Atomic Weight

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Conclusions
The purpose of this experiment was to find the relationship between a substance’s specific heat and its atomic weight. In the lab, the substances with the higher atomic weights had less specific heat. From this, we can conclude that specific heat and atomic weight have an inverse relationship, meaning as one decreases the other increases. The reason for this is because if atoms are small, or light, they have the ability to pack tightly together, leaving almost no space between them. Because they are packed so tightly their bonds are strong. To break these bonds it requires a lot of energy. This leads to a high specific heat. Large, or heavy, atoms don’t require a large amount of heat because these atoms have more distance between one another and thus their bonds aren’t as strong.

Possible sources of error could be that heat was lost to the environment during the heating process, making the metal with the water in the calorimeter not the correct temperature. This would skew the specific heat value. Another source of error would be human error in reading the temperature level because it was hard to get the exact correct value with the instruments we were using. When weighing the metal, if there were any substances on it or the weight plate, this could have given the wrong mass value. If I were to redo this experiment, the ways I would prevent these errors from occurring would be to obtaining higher value equipment that will ensure exact values. To prevent heat being lost, I would place the system in a vacuum to ensure no heat is lost to the outside. And to ensure no human errors, I would thoroughly clean all materials and if possible substances to ensure all values are correct.

Relationship of
Specific Heat and Atomic Weight
Relationship of
Specific Heat and Atomic Weight
By Shivesh Rameshbabu
AP Chemistry
California High

By Shivesh Rameshbabu
AP Chemistry
California High
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