Question Video: Predicting How Using a Glass Beaker to Measure the Enthalpy of Neutralization Affects the Experimental Results | Nagwa Question Video: Predicting How Using a Glass Beaker to Measure the Enthalpy of Neutralization Affects the Experimental Results | Nagwa

Question Video: Predicting How Using a Glass Beaker to Measure the Enthalpy of Neutralization Affects the Experimental Results Chemistry • First Year of Secondary School

A student sets up an experiment using calorimetry to measure the enthalpy change of a neutralization reaction. Instead of a polystyrene cup, the student decides to use a glass beaker. How will this affect the results of the experiment?

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Video Transcript

A student sets up an experiment using calorimetry to measure the enthalpy change of a neutralization reaction. Instead of a polystyrene cup, the student decides to use a glass beaker. How will this affect the results of the experiment? (A) The increase in temperature will cause the glass beaker to crack. (B) The temperature change will be lower, as more heat will be lost through the glass beaker to the surroundings. (C) The temperature change will be higher, as the glass beaker is more insulating than the polystyrene cup. (D) The beaker has a higher mass than the polystyrene cup, so the amount of heat energy transferred will be greater. (E) The reaction will be quicker in the glass beaker, causing the change in temperature to be quicker.

In this question, we want to know how using a glass beaker might affect the results of an experiment involving an enthalpy change. Let’s clear some space to discuss this experiment in more detail.

An enthalpy change is the change in energy of a system that occurs when a physical or chemical process takes place. In the student’s experiment, the enthalpy change of a chemical reaction, called neutralization, is going to be measured. Chemical reactions may either absorb or release a net amount of energy to the surroundings when they occur. When an acid reacts with a base, it is likely that energy will be released to the surroundings in the form of heat. In other words, neutralization reactions are generally exothermic.

If we want to be able to accurately measure the heat released by the solution as the reaction happens, we need to find a way to keep the heat from leaking out. A calorimeter can be used to measure the heat energy transferred during a chemical or physical change. A simple calorimeter typically uses a polystyrene cup set inside a beaker for support and closed with a lid. The reaction is often stirred, and a thermometer is fitted through the lid so that the bulb is below the surface of the reaction mixture. The temperature change that occurs during the reaction is found by subtracting the initial temperature reading before the reaction starts from the maximum temperature reached.

Polystyrene is an insulating material, which means that it does not conduct heat very well. This means that it can prevent the heat released by the neutralization reaction from leaving the cup. On the other hand, glass is not quite as good of an insulator as polystyrene. Even if a lid is used, more heat will be conducted away from the solution into the surroundings outside of the beaker. If this happens, the maximum temperature reached during the reaction will be lower. And therefore, the temperature change will also be lower.

Now that we better understand how using a glass beaker affects the results of this experiment, let’s bring our answer choices back on screen. Because the student decided to use a glass beaker, the temperature change will be lower, as more heat will be lost through the glass beaker to the surroundings. Therefore, the correct answer is answer choice (B).

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