Year 12 Chemistry: Calibration of a Calorimeter Aim of this experiment: To determine the calibration factor of a calorimeter and contents, by electrical calibration. Theory: The calorimeter and its contents (water, heating element, stirrer and temperature probe) when housed in an insulated container, constitutes a closed system; it is independent of the surroundings, and we assume that no heat transfer takes place between the calorimeter and its surroundings. Therefore, if heat energy is created in the calorimeter, the temperature of the calorimeter and its contents – the system – will increase, and the temperature increase will be directly related to the amount of heat energy added to or subtracted from the system. ie. if q represents the amount of heat energy involved, and ∆ T represents the accompanying temperature change (ie. final temp. - initial temp.), then q is proportional to ∆ T, and q α ∆ T, which leads to the equation q = (calibration factor)* ∆ T q will be measured in J (joule) and
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