Saturday, December 10, 2011

On Heat and Calorimetry

Entering the 103.1 lab, I saw a gas stove set up. Asking what it for, I found out that we would be performing an experiment on Thermodynamics.

I consider Thermodynamics to be my favourite subject in our General Chemistry courses (16 and 17). Unfortunately, I have forgotten quite a deal on the said subject, so it was nice to rekindle my interest in thermodynamics by performing a simple calorimetry experiment this meeting.

Basically, what we did was mix hot and cold water together and measure the enthalpy change (ΔH=mcΔT) to see that the heat lost by the hot water and the heat gained by the cold water were equal. It was quite an easy experiment, though numerous little niggles cost us time. For one, the balance used to measure the mass of the calorimeter was in the other room so we had to go back and forth between rooms (though this was remedied eventually), and a short brownout occurred which we had to wait out to be able to use the balance.

Overall, the experiment was quite a simple task to perform. Compared to the experiments in 102.1, this experiment was a walk in the park.

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