# Calorimetry Chemistry Lab

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Determining the Specific Heat of an Unknown Metal

Objective: To determine the specific heat of an unknown metal through the use of a calorimeter.

Background: The specific heat of any substance represents the quantity of heat energy in joules required to heat one gram of the substances by one °C. The specific heat of a substance is dependent upon the temperature; this means that there is a temperature range for which the specific heat of a substance applies. For metals and metallic substances, this temperature range is usually large, but at lower temperatures. Their specific heats are very small because they only need a relatively small amount of energy to increase their temperature. On the other hand, insulating substances, such as the plastic foam in coffee cups, require a large amount of energy to increase their temperatures. Anyways, the equation used to figure out energy needed to increase temperature is: Q (Heat Energy) = mass x Specific heat x Change in Temperature
To determine the specific heat with the use of a calorimeter , the equation is : QSubstance = -[ Qwater + QCalorimeter] which translates into
(mcΔT)Substance = - [(mcΔT)Water + (CΔT)Calorimeter]

Materials:
Coffee-cup calorimeter
Water
Safety Goggles
Thermometer
Lab Apron
Ringstand
Tongs
Clamp
Test tube
Unknown Metal Sample
Hotplate
Triple Beam Balance (or other mass measuring equipment)

600 ml Beaker

Procedure:
1. Follow all safety guidelines prior to starting. Clear lab station. Gather all materials.
2. Set up the coffee-cup calorimeter as shown in the previous experiment in Figure 17-1.
3. Pour 75 ml, with a graduated cylinder, of cold water into the calorimeter and then cover the calorimeter.
4. Weigh out about 30 g of the unknown metal sample and record its identification number.
5. Pour 450 ml of water in a 600 ml beaker. Clamp the beaker onto a ringstand, place the hot plate underneath the beaker, and heat the water to

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