Calorimeter 4Ua

Josh, Randall, Everett, MacDaddy

The pictures below show our materials for our first basic calorimeter. Our materials were duct tape, pop can, retort stand, ring clamp, cardboard, tin foil, cotton balls, and a tea candle.

Our first idea was to create an insulator for the can to keep heat in. We did this by lining a layer of tape with our cotton balls (insulator) to create a "sleeve" around the can.

As you can see in the picture below we applied the concepts of convection and radiation in the next step of our original design. We took a piece of cardboard to create a second "sleeve", but this time instead of creating a insulator, we lined it with tin foil (shinny surface) to reflect the heat back in. Also to prevent heat escaping through conduction we created a duct tape seal at the top, to prevent heat from rising and escaping our caliormeter.

Tin foil reflector and duct tape seal on second sleeve

Then we placed can inside the first sleeve, then placed the second sleeve around it, then set in on the ring clamp attached to the retort stand leaving just enough room between it and the desk to breathe.

The results of our original calorimeter

Our Change

The change we deiced to make to our calorimeter, we deiced to remove our cotton ball insulator to determine the effect it really had on the original design. Below is the picture of the insulator we removed which is what we referred to as our first sleeve earlier in this post.

The Insulator that we removed as our change.

The Findings of our change.

The data below represents below what change in the effectiveness of our calorimeter. As you can see the removal of the insulator made no difference at all.

The significance of our findings.

From the graphs above we can conclude that our insulator sleeve made no difference at all when it came to heat trying to escape. The significance of this is we now realize that the cotton is not a great insulator, if we were to try this theory again i would suggest using a different materiel as the insulator.

Next Steps?

If I was to continue with this experiment, my next step would to test the affect of the tin foil, and its ability to reflect the heat back into the water. After seeing the results of taking away the insulator we can conclude that one of the other features must be the key to keeping the heat in. I would expect this to be the reflective layer (radiation) to be the most important because of the area it covers as it surrounds the whole can, compared to the seal which is just the one opening on the can that needs to be taking care of.

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