Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Mixing Warm and Cold Water

Figure from experiment 7 from Physical Science with Vernier


Heat can be defined as energy transferred between matter because of differences in temperature. The ability of matter to transfer heat depends on its mass and temperature. A calorimeter is an instrument used to measure changes in heat energy. You can make a simple calorimeter using a Styrofoam cup to contain water, a beaker for more insulation and support, and a Temperature Probe to measure temperatures. The joule (J) is the SI unit for heat energy. An equation that can be used to calculate change in heat energy is

H = \Delta t \cdot m \cdot {C_p}

where H = heat absorbed or released (in J), Δt = change in temperature (in °C), m = mass (in g), and Cp = specific heat capacity (4.18 J/g°C for water).


In this experiment, you will

  • Construct and use a simple calorimeter.
  • Measure temperature.
  • Mix cold and warm water.
  • Determine heat lost by cooling water.
  • Determine heat gained by warming water.
  • Compare heat lost by cooling water and heat gained by warming water.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Experiment 7 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physical Science with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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