A good calorimeter should be of
B. high specific heat capacity and low heat conductivity
C. high specific heat capacity and high heat conductivity
D. low specific heat capacity and high heat conductivity.
To properly respond to this question, it is necessary to clearly understand what a calorimeter is.
A calorimeter is simply a container used to measure the heat capacity (or specific heat capacity) of objects involved in heat exchange within it. It is thus expected that a good calorimeter should prevent heat exchange between its content and the surrounding.
A good calorimeter should have:
- Low heat conductivity; this is because a high heat conductivity would make it easy for heat to be exchanged between the content of the calorimeter and the environment. But a low heat conductivity would prevent easy leakage or absorption of heat.
- High specific heat capacity; this is because specific heat capacity of a calorimeter will be the quantity of heat required to change the temperature of 1kg of it by 1kelvin. What this implies is that a large specific heat capacity would require a large amount of heat to change the temperature of 1kg of the calorimeter by 1kelvin. In fact, the larger the specific heat capacity, the better, as the instrument will hardly change its temperature under low heat exchange between its content.
Now for the right answer to the above question:
- Option A is incorrect. it should have high specific heat capacity, because this would make the material require large amount of heat to change its temperature by 1kelvin.
- Option B is correct.
- C is incorrect. a high heat conductivity would cause easy leakage of heat between the content and the environment.
- D is not the correct answer.
You may please note these/this:
- The contents of a calorimeter are involved in measured exchange of heat according to their heat capacities, a good calorimeter is expected to prevent heat loss or gain from the environment.
- The larger the specific heat capacity of a material, the larger the amount of heat needed to cause change its temperature and cause a leakage.
- Small specific heat capacity would imply that just small amount of heat could easily cause a significant change in temperature.
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/ culled from 2015 JAMB-UTME physics past question 8 /