The amount of heat lost a hot object can be assumed to be absorbed by a colder object, assuming that the system is well insulated. Mathematically, however, these quantities can only become equal if an extra negative sign is inserted.
- heat lost by hot object = heat gained by cold object
(Use Q = mc DT to obtain the heat for each respective object)
Example 1 What final temperature will be attained if 300. grams of 30.0o C water are mixed with an equal mass of 66.0 o C alcohol? The specific heat of the alcohol is 2.3 J/(g o C). Comment on why the final temperature of the mixture is NOT simply the average of the two liquids’ temperature.
- heat lost by hot object (alcohol = a)t = heat gained by cold object (water = w)
- macaDTa = mwcw DTw.
-300g(2.3 J/(g o C) )(x – 66) o C = 300g(4.19J/(g o C) )(x – 30) o C
Notice that we use the same final temperature on each side of the equation.
x = 42.8 oC
The final temperature is lower than the average temperature, specifically closer to that of water. This is expected because water has a higher specific heat than alcohol.