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Determination of Water Equivalent

The whole idea behind this virtual lab experiment video is to help students understand of how to determine the water equivalent of calorimeter.

The determination of water equivalent needs to be carried out under same conditions as the intended water determination.

Any chemical reaction can be either categorised as endothermic or exothermic in nature depending upon whether the reacting system is absorbing heat from surrounding or releasing heat into its immediate surroundings.

The role of calorimeter is to determine the heat either given out or absorbed in. water equivalent of a body is the mass of water that absorbs or release the same amount of heat as actual body absorbs or release for the same rise of temperature.

Water equivalent may also be defined as the mass of water which will be heated through 1oC by the same quantity of heat which is required to raise the temperature of the body through 1oC.

Materials required for this experiment are

  • Wide mouth polythene bottle representing calorimeter
  • A rubber cork with two holes
  • Two thermometer with 0.1 degree divisions
  • Stirrer with a handle
  • Measuring cylinder and a beaker
  • Tripod stand with wire gauge, bottle of distilled water and Bunsen burner

To understand how this experiment is carried out one has to see the entire video and get a working knowledge of how things are carried out in actual lab.

The actual lab conditions might differ, but this video definitely gives a first-hand knowledge of what to expect, what needs to be measured and how the calculations are carried out.

The final part of the video also gives an insight of how to measure heat gained by calorimeter and stirrer, heat gained by cold water, heat lost by hot water and how to determine the final value.

According to the principle of calorimetry, the total heat gained is equal to total heat lost.

W = [(m3 – m2) (T3 – T1) / (T1 – T2)] – (m2 – m1)

This video is going to help you understand the basics of water equivalent calculations and how to take precautions during the experiment.


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