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# Determining specific heat capacity- experimental issue Watch

1. In the book it mentions:

"Thermal insulation of the material is also vital. Inevitably, some energy will escape to the surroundings. This means that more energy must be supplied for each degree rise in temperature and so the experimental value for the specific heat capacity will be too high. One way around this is to cool the block below room temperature before beginning to heat it. Then, as its temperature rises past room temperature, heat losses will be zero in principle, because there is no temperature difference between the block and its surroundings."

This is mentioned in the book, however, I donot understand how in principle heat losses will be zero, since if the temperature of the block is greater than the temperature of the surroundings, then would not the heat escape?
2. Because if you start, say 10 deg below ambient and heat to 10 deg above, for the first half of the expt the block is gaining heat from the surroundings, and for the second half the block is losing heat to them. If you assume the rates of heat transfer are equal, then you'll gain as much heat in the first half of the expt as you lose in the second, and net loss will be zero
3. (Original post by Cora Lindsay)
Because if you start, say 10 deg below ambient and heat to 10 deg above, for the first half of the expt the block is gaining heat from the surroundings, and for the second half the block is losing heat to them. If you assume the rates of heat transfer are equal, then you'll gain as much heat in the first half of the expt as you lose in the second, and net loss will be zero

Thank you very much

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