# Experiment 3. Electrical Energy. Calculate the electrical power dissipated in a resistor.

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1 Experiment 3 Electrical Energy 3.1 Objectives Calculate the electrical power dissipated in a resistor. Determine the heat added to the water by an immersed heater. Determine if the energy dissipated by an immersion resistor is completely transferred to heat added to the water. Measure the resistance of an immersion heater. 3.2 Introduction The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be converted. We convert electrical energy to other kinds of energy all the time; from using electric stoves to heat our food to the neurons in our brains using action potentials to activate neurotransmitters that control and regulate our bodies. Today we will essentially be modeling the electric tea kettle. 43

2 3. Electrical Energy 3.3 Key Concepts As always, you can find a summary online at HyperPhysics 1. Look for keywords: heat and thermodynamics (heat, specific heat), electricity and magnetism (electric power, power). 3.4 Theory When a voltage is applied across a resistor, an electric current will flow through the resistor. As an electron travels along, it occasionally collides with the ions of the resistor and causes these ions to vibrate with greater amplitude than they had before the collision. In this way, the collisions increase the vibrational amplitude and thus the vibrational energy of the ions. This increase in vibrational energy corresponds to a change in thermal energy (heat). Electrical energy has been converted into heat. This is an example of the conversion of energy from one form to another. The electrical power (P ) dissipated by a resistor is given by P = IV, (3.1) where P is the power in watts (W), V is the voltage in volts (V), and I is the current in amps (A). Using Ohm s law, V = IR, Eq. 3.1 can also be written in the forms of P = I 2 R or P = V 2 /R. Which equation you use for power often depends on which quantities you are able to measure. From the power, we can calculate the work done by the resistor, which is given by W = P t, (3.2) where W is the work in joules (J) and t is the amount of time in seconds (s) that the voltage is applied to the resistor. Heat is a form of energy. Traditionally, heat is measured in units of calories (cal) instead of joules. One calorie is defined as the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by one degree Celsius ( ). The conversion factor between calories and joules is 1 cal = 4.18 J. (3.3) Last updated January 6, 2016

3 3.5. In today s lab When a resistor is immersed in a cup of water and a current is passed through it, the electrical energy dissipated by the resistor will be converted into heat, and the heat may be absorbed by the water, the cup, the resistor, etc. The amount of heat H added to an amount of water of mass m w by changing its temperature by T can be calculated by using the following equation: H = m w c w T + S, (3.4) where c w is the specific heat of water, c w = 1.0 cal g. Note that to get the heat energy H in joules to compare it to the work done by the resistor, you ll need to convert it from calories to joules using Eq In Eq. 3.4, m w c w T is the heat absorbed by the water, while S represents the total heat absorbed by all other parts of the apparatus. The calorimeter is a very good insulator. Therefore, S will be very small compared to the heat gained by the water, so we will assume S In today s lab In this experiment you will calculate the electrical energy dissipated by a resistor immersed in water and measure the amount of heat added to the water. You will then determine if energy has been conserved. We will use deionized water that has been refrigerated to cool it to below room temperature. We will not start to take data until the water is about 4 below room temperature. Then, we will continue to take data until the water has reached about 4 above room temperature. This is done because our calorimeter (a cup) is not in fact a perfect insulator, and heat from the surroundings (i.e. the room) introduces a systematic error in our measurement. Heat absorbed by the water from the room while the water is below room temperature will be offset by the heat lost to the room while the water is above room temperature. Using this method balances out the systematic error and allows us to measure only the heat transferred to the water by the resistor. We assume that energy will be conserved. If this is true, then the energy that was produced by the resistor will all be absorbed by the water. By comparing the electrical energy produced (work done) by the resistor and the heat energy gained by the water, we can verify this. Last updated January 6,

4 3. Electrical Energy Figure 3.1: The calorimeter is a small thermos bottle with a screw-top lid in which a resistor is soldered (circled). 3.6 Equipment Calorimeter the insulated cup and lid is a very good insulator so it is assumed that no energy is transferred out of the container. It has a resistor in it that heats up. The calorimeter is shown in Fig 3.1 digital multimeter, to measure voltage across the heating resistor thermometer (actually a multimeter set to read temperature), which is shown in Fig. 3.2 power supply(which is different from the last lab) and shown in Fig Last updated January 6, 2016

5 3.6. Equipment Figure 3.2: A thermocouple is a device that will respond to tiny changes in temperature (circled). It s attached to the multimeter. Figure 3.3: The power supply is a high-current device. We ll use the 6V and 5A maximum scales on the bottom of each of the windows. You connect to the resistor through the sockets on the top of the calorimeter and to the + and 0 TO 6 V connectors on the front (circled). Last updated January 6,

7 3.7. Procedure Figure 3.4: Digital multimeter with the green rectangle showing the setting for measuring resistance in ohms and the yellow circle showing the setting for measuring temperature in degrees Celsius. Notice that the latter setting will require the yellow button to be pushed (to the right of the RANGE button.) Last updated January 6,

8 3. Electrical Energy Figure 3.5: Schematic of experimental setup. Figure 3.6: Picture of working setup. reading. (To be sure that it s settled and makes sense, you can switch to Fahrenheit using the range setting. The room temperature should be around 70 F, but make sure to do your measurements in Celsius.) 4. Connect the circuit as in Fig One multimeter is now acting as the thermometer and another is acting as a voltmeter. See Fig. 3.6 for a picture of a working setup. 50 Last updated January 6, 2016

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11 3.8. Questions 3.8 Questions 1. Calculate the temperature change ( T ) and the time span ( t) from start to stop. Also, calculate their uncertainties. For uncertainties, δ( T ) = 2 δt and δ( t) = 2 δt. 2. Calculate the power dissipated in the resistor, using V cal and its associated error, in two ways: a) P = IV with δp = P (δv/v + δi/i) and b) P = V 2 /R with δp = P (2 δv/v + δr/r). Last updated January 6,

12 3. Electrical Energy 3. Which equation gives a more precise value for power? Justify your response. (Hint: Think about what variables were used in each equation and the size of their uncertainties.) 4. Were V cal and V PS different? Why? (Hint: What assumptions do we make about the effect of the wires on the circuit?) Why should you use V cal? 54 Last updated January 6, 2016

13 3.8. Questions 5. Determine the work done by the resistor (in joules) and its associated error using W = P t and δw = W (δp/p + δ( t)/ t). Use the more precise power value when doing this calculation. 6. Which uncertainty is more important, the uncertainty in time or in power? Justify your answer. Last updated January 6,

14 3. Electrical Energy 7. Was the power constant? Justify your answer. To help answer this question construct a temperature ( T ) versus time ( t) graph from your data and use the fact that the slope is related to the power. (Hints regarding your plot: remember that the equation of a straight line is y = mx + b. To write your results in the straight line equation form you need to figure out what x, y, m (the slope) and b (the y- intercept) are. That is, write the equation of T versus t in the y = mx + b form for your plot, with all of the right symbols, by combining the equations for work and heat from the theory section and rearranging the variables. It should include: T, t, P, m w, and c w. Notice which variables are equal to the slope. Do you have to worry about the y-intercept?) 56 Last updated January 6, 2016

15 3.8. Questions 8. Calculate the heat added to the water using Eq. 3.4 and its associated uncertainty. The specific heat of water c w = 1.0 cal g and the uncertainty is δh = H(δm/m + δ( T )/ T ). 9. Compare the work done by the resistor and the heat added to the water. Is energy conserved? (You should take into account the uncertainties.) Was the heat energy found in the water less or more than the electrical energy? (Was energy lost or gained?) Discuss possible sources of apparent energy loss or gain in this experiment and its analysis. Last updated January 6,

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