Determine the specific heat of a solid by calorimeter – is our discussion topic today. Heat is a form of energy that is transferred from one object to another due to a difference in temperature. When heat is added to a substance, its temperature increases, and when heat is removed from a substance, its temperature decreases. The specific heat capacity of a substance is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of the substance by 1 degree Celsius. In this article, we will discuss how to determine the specific heat of a solid by using a calorimeter.

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**Determine the specific heat of a solid by calorimeter**

**Calorimetry:**

Calorimetry is a technique used to measure the heat changes in a system. A calorimeter is an instrument used for this purpose. It consists of an insulated container with a thermometer and a stirrer. The calorimeter is used to measure the heat changes that occur when a substance is heated or cooled.

**Determination of Specific Heat of a Solid:**

To determine the specific heat of a solid, a known mass of the solid is heated to a known temperature and then placed in a calorimeter containing a known mass of water at a known temperature. The heat lost by the solid is equal to the heat gained by the water. From this, we can calculate the specific heat of the solid.

**Let us consider a sample calculation to determine the specific heat of a solid:**

Suppose we have a solid of mass m grams and specific heat capacity c. We want to determine the specific heat capacity of the solid.

- We heat the solid to a known temperature, say T1.
- We then place the solid in a calorimeter containing a known mass of water, say M grams, at a known temperature, say T2.
- We measure the final temperature of the water-solid mixture, say T3.

From the above, we know that:

Heat gained by water = Heat lost by solid

M × cwater × (T3 – T2) = m × csolid × (T1 – T3)

We can rearrange the equation to solve for the specific heat capacity of the solid:

csolid = M × cwater × (T3 – T2) / m × (T1 – T3)

Here, M is the mass of water, cwater is the specific heat capacity of water, T1 is the initial temperature of the solid, T2 is the initial temperature of the water, and T3 is the final temperature of the water-solid mixture.

Calorimetry is an essential technique used to measure the heat changes in a system. We can use it to determine the specific heat of a solid by using a calorimeter. By heating a known mass of the solid to a known temperature and placing it in a calorimeter containing a known mass of water at a known temperature, we can calculate the specific heat of the solid. This calculation helps us understand the thermodynamic properties of the substance and its behavior under various conditions.

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