PIRA 4A40.40 - Specific Heat: Beeswax

Photo and Video Shows the Demonstration Used at U.T. Austin

  • Hot water will be provided in a thermal container.
  • Pour the hot water from the thermos into the pot, and immediately submerge the masses into the pot by holding the pencil end.
  • Let the masses heat up for 2 minutes.
  • Dry the masses quickly by dabbing them on a paper towel, and then place them in the slots of the acrylic piece and lower the masses into the slots. DO NOT TOUCH THEM WITH YOUR HANDS - They are hot.
  • Observe how quickly they melt in comparison to one another.

    Concept Conveyed:
  • Each element has the same mass (200g), is placed in the hot water to heat up at the same time, and placed on the wax at the same time.
  • The difference is their composition: copper, aluminum, tin, and lead, which shows how the specific heat of each element differs from one another.

    Demo Staff:
  • Add enough water to a pot to fill it approximately 75% of the way up.
  • Put the pot of water on a hotplate, and heat until it comes to a rolling boil. START THIS PROCESS AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE ROLLING OUT DEMO!
  • Ensure the masses are attached properly on hanging string (masses should be level).
  • Take one of the wax pieces and GENTLY press it onto the edges of the acrylic piece so that it remains in place.
  • Once the water boils, pour it into the thermal container and provide to faculty.

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