Background Heat can be transferred from one point to another by three common methods: conduction, convection and radiation. Each method can be analyzed and each yields its own specific mathematical relationship. We will use Pasco’s Thermal Conductivity Apparatus to investigate the rate of thermal conduction through three common materials used in building construction. The equation giving the amount of heat conducted through a material is:
Solving for the conductivity constant, k, we have the equation
As you see from our equation, to calculate k we need to know the mass of ice melted in grams (m), the thickness of the insulting plate ( ), and the area of the ice cylinder that was in contact with the insulating plate (A). The latent heat of fusion is a given, L _{f} = 334 J/g, and the temperature differential between the ice temperature (0ºC) the steam’s temperature (100ºC) is known.
We will conduct the experiment six times. Three times for ambient heat to calibrate the apparatus and then three times with steam. Directions for Part I
1. Measure and record , the thickness of the insulating plate.
2. Mount the insulting plate onto the steam chamber taking care that it is flush against the water channel (to insure that no water will leak) and then tighten the thumbscrews. The manufacturer recommends the use of a little Vaseline between the channel and the sample to help create a good seal.
3. Initially let the ice sit for several minutes so it begins to melt and comes in full contact with the sample. Don't begin taking data before the ice begins to melt, because it may be at a lower temperature than 0°C. Obtain data for determining the ambient melting rate of the ice, as follows:
4. Determine the mass of the beaker used for collecting the melted ice and record it below.
5. Collect the melting ice in the beater for a measured time (approximately 5 minutes).
6. Determine the mass of the beaker plus the melted icewater and record it. Then subtract your first measured mass from your second to determine the mass of the melted ice.
Repeat this process for all three insulating plates. Record your results in Table I below.
