Find the specific heat of a given solid in Heat – Class 10 Science Experiment

Chapter Name: Heat

Activity Name: Find the specific heat of a given solid in Heat

Activity Description:

The aim of this experiment is to determine the specific heat of a given solid (lead shots) using a calorimeter and water. Specific heat is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a unit mass of a substance by one degree Celsius.

The method of mixtures is employed, where the heat lost by the solid (lead shots) is assumed to be transferred to the calorimeter and water until they reach a final temperature.

Required Items:

  1. Calorimeter
  2. Thermometer
  3. Stirrer
  4. Water
  5. Steam heater
  6. Wooden box
  7. Lead shots

Step by Step Procedure:

  1. Measure the mass of the calorimeter along with the stirrer (m1).
  2. Fill one-third of the volume of the calorimeter with water. Measure the combined mass of the calorimeter and water (m2) and record the temperature of the water (T1). Note that both the calorimeter and water are at the same temperature.
  3. Take a few lead shots and heat them in hot water or a steam heater until their temperature reaches 100°C (T2).
  4. Quickly transfer the hot lead shots into the calorimeter with minimal heat loss. Allow the mixture to settle, and then measure the final temperature (T3) and the combined mass of the calorimeter, water, and lead shots (m3).
  5. Calculate the mass of the lead shots (m3 – m2).

Experiment Observations:

  1. Mass of the calorimeter with stirrer (m1)
  2. Mass of the calorimeter plus water (m2)
  3. Temperature of water in the calorimeter (T1)
  4. Temperature of lead shots after heating (T2)
  5. Final temperature of the mixture in the calorimeter (T3)
  6. Mass of the calorimeter along with contents (m3)
  7. Mass of the lead shots (m3 – m2)


  1. Ensure proper insulation of the calorimeter to minimize heat loss to the surroundings.
  2. Handle the hot lead shots with care to avoid burns or injuries.
  3. Stir the mixture gently to ensure uniform heat distribution.
  4. Record the temperatures and masses accurately for precise calculations.

Lesson Learnt from Experiment:

By applying the method of mixtures and measuring the temperatures and masses involved, the specific heat of the given solid (lead shots) can be determined. This experiment illustrates the concept of heat transfer and the use of calorimetry to calculate specific heat.

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