This set of six metal cubes with identical volumes will let you investigate the properties of metallic solids, including mass, volume, density, specific heat, and color.
This set includes 1 cube each of aluminum, brass, copper, iron, lead, and zinc. They can be used to easily illustrate the concept of density. Packed in a cardboard box. Cube sides: 1” (25mm) and 3/4” (20mm).
- Comes with a Teacher’s Guide
- Packed in a cardboard box
- Cube side 0.75″ (20 mm)
Sample experiments using this assorted metals cube set
Calculate the mass of your metal cube if you are given the density and a ruler. Measure the sides and multiply Length x Width x Height to calculate the volume. Then rearrange the density equation density = mass/volume to predict the mass of their cube.
Calculate the density using water displacement. Measure the mass of the cube using the pan balance and measure the volume using water displacement. Use a graduated cylinder large enough to fit the cube into. Put approximately 50mL of water into the cylinder and read the exact volume of water. Slowly lower the cube into the water (no splashing) and read the new volume of water plus the metal cube. The difference is the volume of the cube. Now calculate density using D=M/V.
Calculate specific heat for the metal cube. Heat a beaker of water with a cube in it to approximately 40 degrees Celsius. While it is heating, measure exactly 100mL of water into a insulated coffee cup (foam cups work fine). Remember, density of water is 1g/1mL. Measure the temperature of the water in the insulated cup. Once the metal and the water in the beaker is approximately 40 degrees record the exact temperature of the hot water bath. Since you have been heating the metal in it for so long the metal will be the same temperature as the water it is in. Now use the tongs to move the metal cube to the water in the insulated coffee cup. Record the temperature of the water in the insulated coffee cup once it has stopped rising. This is the final temperature for both the metal and the water. The heat energy absorbed by the water is equal to the heat energy released by the metal.
Qmetal = Qwater
Qmetal = specific heat of the metal
x mass x (Tfinal – Tinitial) • Qwater = specific heat of the water
x mass x (Tfinal-Tinitial)
Be certain you use the temperature of the water in the insulated cup (before and after heat transfer) in the calculation for the water. Understand that the temperature of the heated water is the temperature of the metal before heat transfer and the temperature in the insulated cup is the after heat transfer temperature.
Science behind the experiments
Metals have a different specific heat than water, therefore when you have room temperature water and add a metal that is heated to it, the heat will flow from the metal to the water. However, the temperature change the metal has is not equal to the temperature the water has. Metal has lower specific heats than water, meaning they cannot store as much heat without experiencing a temperature change, but water can absorb a lot of heat energy without as much of a temperature change. An accepted value for the specific heat of water is 4.18 J/g-1ΟCelsius. A gram of water can absorb 4.18 J of energy while only changing one degree of temperature. Most metals have much higher specific heats and are good conductors of heat. Metals are denser than water. The accepted value for the density of water is 1g/ mL and routinely we compare the densities of other matter to it. Matter that is denser than water will sink and matter that is less dense will float.
Specific Heat for a substance is a ratio of energy, temperature, and mass. It informs us how much heat energy a substance can absorb for the size of the sample for each degree of temperature change it undergoes. It is an extensive property of matter. The amount of heat a material can absorb depends on how much of the substance you have. Density is an intensive property of matter. The amount you have of a substance does not affect the density because the mass and volume both change.