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# THERMAL PHYSICS

THERMAL PHYSICS
Thermal concepts

3.2

## TOK Thermal concepts

In looking at the ways of knowing described in the Theory
of knowledge guide, scientists could legitimately claim
that science encompasses all these. Driven by emotion,
using sense perception, enhanced by technology and
combined with reason, it communicates through language,
principally the universal language of mathematics. (
IBO 2007). Science cannot suppose to be the truth as so
many paradigm shifts have occurred over the centuries. It
is hoped that the following historical perspective will help
in showing how science has changed the way of reasoning
in thermal physics.

PHLOGISTON/CALORIC THEORY

## he concept of heat has been studied for many centuries.

Aristotle (384 322 B.C.) considered fire one of the
five basic elements of the Universe. Over 2000 years ago,
Greek philosophers believed that matter was made of
atomos, elemental atoms in rapid motion, and that the
result of this rapid motion was heat. It was understood
that heat flowed from hot bodies to colder ones, somewhat
analogous to water or another fluid flowing from a higher
to lower elevation. It is not surprising that the early theory
of heat flow regarded heat as a type of fluid.

## Around the time of Galileo Galilei (1564 1642), this

heat fluid was known as phlogiston the soul of matter.
Phlogiston was believed to have a negative mass, and,
upon heating or cooling, the phlogiston was driven out or
absorbed by an object.

CORE

3.1

## Further refinements of the phlogiston theory were carried

out by Antoine Lavoisier (17431794), and it became
known as the caloric theory. Sir Isaac Newton (16421727)
and other famous scientists supported the caloric theory.
Calorists believed that a hot object had more caloric than
a cold object. They explained expansion by saying that the
caloric filled up the spaces between atoms pushing them
apart. The total amount of caloric was unchanged when a
hot and cold body came into contact.
However, the caloric theory did not adequately explain
some phenomena involving heat. It was difficult to
understand how the conservation of caloric fluid applied
to friction and the expansion of liquids and gases. Some
calorists answer to the friction concept was that the latent
heat was released which implies that a change of state was
involved. Others argued that during friction the material
is damaged and that it bleeds heat. No satisfactory

COUNT RUMFORD
Much of the credit for dismantling the idea that heat was
motion rather than substance or caloric goes to Benjamin
Thompson (1753 1814), also known as Count Rumford of
Bavaria.
During the American Revolution, he was a Tory or loyalist
in the disputes between Britain and its American colonies
serving as a major in a company of militia. It is believed
that he invented a cork flotation system for cannons while
being transported by horses across rivers. He also designed
a gun carriage that could be carried by three horses and
could be assembled ready for firing in 75 seconds. He

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CORE

## was knighted by King George III of England, and made a

Count in 1791 by Theodor in his brief reign as elector of
the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1793, Thompson left England ultimately to take up a post
with the before mentioned Theodor, elector of Bavaria. He
was appointed a major general in the Bavarian army. He
designed fortifications and worked as an administrator
in munitions. It was here that he observed that a large
amount of heat was generated in the boring of cannons.
He read the following extracts before the Royal Society of
London in 1798.

## which caloric is conserved but rather a concept of motion.

He argued that heat is generated when work is done, and
that the heat will continue to be generated as long as work
is done. He estimated a heat to work ratio within the order
of magnitude accepted today.
However, many scientists of the time were not convinced
because Rumford could not give a clear explanation of
exactly what heat was in terms of the accepted model for
matter at that time. It would take another half century
before Joule supplied the accepted answers.

## JAMES PRESCOTT JOULE

Being engaged, lately, in superintending the boring
of cannon, in the workshops of the military arsenal at
Munich, I was struck with the very considerable degree of
Heat which a brass gun acquires, in a short time, in being
bored; and with the still more intense Heat (much greater
than that of boiling water as I found by experiment) of the
metallic chips separated from it by the borer.
From whence comes the Heat actually produced in the
mechanical operation above mentioned? Is it furnished by
the metallic chips which are separated by the borer from
the solid mass of metal? If this were the case, then,
according to the modern doctrines of latent heat, and of
caloric, the capacity for Heat of the parts of the metal, so
reduced to chips, ought not only to be changed, but the
change undergone by them should be sufficiently great to
account for all the Heat produced.
Count Rumford was saying that the metal chips should
have undergone some alteration in their properties after
the production of so much thermal energy. He noted that
some cannon shavings were hot enough to glow, but he
continued:
But no such change had taken place; for I found, upon
taking equal quantities, by weight, of these chips, and of
thin slips of the same block of metal separated by means
of a fine saw, and putting them, at the same temperature
(that of boiling water), into equal quantities of cold water,
the portion of water into which the chips were put was
not, to all appearance, heated either less or more than the
other portion, into which the slips of metal were put. From
whence it is evident that the Heat produced [by boring the
cannon] could not possibly be furnished at the expense of
the latent Heat of the metallic chips.
Rumford further went on to explain that he had immersed
cannons in water while they were being bored and noted
the rate at which the temperature rose. His results showed
that the cannon would have melted had it not been cooled.
Rumford concluded that heat was not a caloric fluid in

## James Prescott Joule (1818-1889) conducted a series of

brilliant experiments between 1842 and 1870 that proved
beyond doubt that heat was a type of energy internal
energy of the particles of matter. The caloric theory lost
popularity very quickly.
Joule was the son of a wealthy brewer in Manchester, UK.
Because of his wealth, he never worked for a living. His
experiments were performed in a laboratory that he built
at his own expense while he was in his twenties. He became
interested in ways to develop more efficient engines that
were driving various components of the brewing process.
Encouraged by the work of Count Rumford and others,
he began to investigate whether mechanical work could
produce heat.
Joule performed a variety of experiments and he refined
and elaborated his apparatus and his techniques. In one
of his first experiments, he used a falling weight to drive
a small electric generator. The current produced heated a
wire that was immersed in a definite mass of water, and
the change in temperature was noted. He reasoned that
the work done as the weight decreases its gravitational
potential energy should be equivalent to the heat energy
gained by the water. In another experiment he mounted a
large container filled with air into a tub of water. When the
air was compressed, the temperature of the gas increased.
He measured the amount of work needed to compress the
gas and the amount of heat energy given to the water as a
result of compression.
Perhaps Joules most famous experiment consisted of a
paddlewheel mounted inside a cylinder of water that was
driven by falling weights as shown in Figure 301. He wanted
to see if one could raise the temperature of the water simply
by turning the paddles. He repeated this experiment many
times continually improving the apparatus and refining
his analysis of the data. For example, he took great care
to insulate the container so that no heat was lost to the
surroundings, and he developed his own thermometer so

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THERMAL PHYSICS
that he could measure the temperature with a precision of
a fraction of a degree.

Example

ywheel
spindle

to pulley with
weights attached

## Calculate the mechanical equivalent of heat for Joules

paddlewheel experiment if a mass of 2.0 kg falls through a
height of 100 m, and increases the temperature of 10 g of
water by 46.8 C.

to pulley with
weights attached

moving vanes

CORE

handles

Solution
calorimeter
(containing water)

xed vanes

W = Ep = mgh

= 1.96 10 3 J

## Joule arranged the vanes of the paddlewheel so that they

would not interfere with the particles of water set in
motion. He didnt want to bruise or damage the water
particles so that they might bleed heat.

Q = m c T

## In 1849 he published his results in which he reported

= 10 g 1 cal 46.8 C

## the quantity of heat produced by friction of bodies,

whether solid or liquid, is always proportional to the
quantity of [energy] expended.

## = 4.68 102 calories

Mechanical equivalent of heat is given by
3

## the quantity of heat capable of increasing the

temperature of a pound of water by 1 Fahrenheit requires
for its evolution the expenditure of a mechanical energy
represented by the fall of 772 pound through the distance
of one foot.

1.96 10 J
W
----- = --------------------------------2
Q
4.68 10 cal
= 4.19 J cal-1
The mechanical equivalent of heat for water is 4.2 J cal -1.

Joule found that about 4.2 joules of work would yield one
calorie of heat or that the quantity of heat required to
raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1 C is one
calorie.
A modern day value for the mechanical equivalent of heat
is 4.18605 joules = 1 calorie.
The experiments proved beyond doubt that mechanical
work can produce heat and as such no caloric fluid can
be created or destroyed. Furthermore, Joule reasoned that
the temperature increase must be related to the energy of
the microscopic motions of the particles.
proved that science is not the ultimate truth.

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CORE

## 3.1.1 State that temperature determines the

direction of thermal energy transfer
between two objects.
3.1.2 State the relation between the Kelvin and
Celsius scales of temperature.
3.1.3 State that the internal energy of a
substance is the total potential energy and
random kinetic energy of the molecules of
the substance.
3.1.4 Explain and distinguish between the
macroscopic concepts of temperature,
internal energy and thermal energy (heat).
3.1.5 Dene the mole and molar mass.
IBO 2007

## 3.1.1 TEMPERATURE AND THERMAL

ENERGY TRANSFER
Everyone seems to have a feel for the concept of heat
because there is so much talk in everyday conversation
of how hot or how cold it is. We endure the seasons of
the year wanting either to cool our bodies or heat up our
surroundings. We are aware of how difficult it was for
our ancestors to keep warm, and our present dwellings
are designed and insulated to suit the climate. Our
consumption of electrical and chemical energy for heating
and other purposes is a continual concern. We have
become aware that increased global warming could spell
the end of the world, as we know it.
But what is the difference between heat and temperature
in physics? They are definitely not the same physical
quantity. If you fill a cup and a dish with hot water at the
same temperature, and then place ice cubes into each, the
dish full of hot water can melt more ice cubes than the
cup of hot water even though the water in each was at the
same temperature. The dish containing the larger amount
of hot water has a greater mass of water as well as a greater
amount of heat or thermal energy. A greater mass infers
a greater number of water molecules and more thermal
energy infers that these molecules would have a greater
overall amount of energy. We cannot see the interaction

## of the water molecules at the microscopic level because

we cannot see atoms. However, we can observe and
monitor the temperature change by using a macroscopic
temperature-measuring device.
Thermal energy is a measure of the kinetic and potential
energy of the component particles of an object and is
measured in joules. Heat is the thermal energy that is
absorbed, given up or transferred from one object to
another.
Temperature is a scalar quantity that gives an indication of
the degree of hotness or coldness of a body. Alternatively,
temperature is a macroscopic property that measures
the average kinetic energy of particles on a defined scale
such as the Celsius or Kelvin scales. The chosen scale
determines the direction of thermal energy transfer
between two bodies in contact from the body at higher
temperature to that of lower temperature. Eventually,
the two bodies will be in thermal equilibrium when they
acquire the same temperature in an isolated system. It will
be deduced later in this text that thermal energy cannot
be transferred from a body at lower temperature to that of
higher temperature.

## 3.1.2 TEMPERATURE SCALES

There is no instrument that directly measures the amount of
thermal energy a body gives off or absorbs. A property that
varies with temperature is called a thermometric property.
This property can be used to establish a temperature scale
and construct a thermometer. Thermometers are made
using the thermometric properties of a substance such as the
expansion of a liquid, the electrical resistance of a wire.
A typical laboratory thermometer as shown in Figure 302
contains a liquid such as mercury or coloured alcohol. The
expansion of alcohol is six times greater than mercury.
Alcohol thermometers are safer and can be used at lower
temperatures than mercury which turns to a solid below
-38.9 C. Its disadvantage is that it boils above 78.5 C. To
make the thermometer sensitive, it has a narrow bore tube
and a large bulb. The bulb is made of thin glass so that
heat can be transferred quickly between the bulb liquid
and the material being observed. There is a vacuum above
the thermometer liquid and it can move easily along the
glass bore.

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points). For example, different thermometers will give
different values for the boiling point of zinc (907 C).
100C

## The standard fundamental temperature scale in the SI

system is denoted by the symbol T. and is measured in
Kelvin, K. It is the thermodynamic temperature scale used
in scientific measurement.

capillary tube

glass
stem
0 C

mercury or alcohol
thin glass
bulb

## The lower fixed point is absolute zero and is assigned a

value of 0 K. This is the point where molecular vibrations
become a minimum the molecules have minimum
kinetic energy but molecular motion does not cease. The
upper fixed point is the triple point of water. This is the
temperature at which saturated water vapour, pure water
and melting ice are all in equilibrium. For historical
reasons, it is assigned a value of 273.16 K.

CORE

vacuum

T in K = T in C + 273.16

## Figure 302 Typical laboratory thermometer

Exercise
A clinical thermometer as shown in Figure 303 does not
need the temperature range of a laboratory thermometer.
It is designed so that the maximum temperature remains
constant after the patients temperature is taken. It has a
small constriction to stop the mercury flowing back into
the bulb. The mercury is then shaken back into the bulb
after the temperature has been taken.

1.

## At room temperature, an iron rod feels cooler

when held in the hand than wood held in the same
hand. This is because:
A.
B.

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

C.
Figure 303 A Clinical Thermometer
D.
In order to calibrate these thermometers, two fixed points
are used to define the standard temperature interval. The
ice point (the lower fixed point) marked at 0 C is the
temperature of pure ice at standard atmospheric pressure
and is in thermal equilibrium with the liquid in the bulb.
The steam point (the upper fixed point) marked at 100 C
is the temperature of steam at standard atmospheric
pressure and is in thermal equilibrium with the liquid in
the bulb. The scale between these values is marked with
even spaces. The Celsius temperature scale named after
the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-1774) is
constructed in such a manner.
Although thermometers constructed using thermometric
properties are useful for everyday use, they are not
accurate enough for scientific work. Unfortunately, two
thermometers constructed using different thermometric
properties do not necessarily agree with each other as they
do not vary linearly over large temperature ranges. (They
are of course in agreement at the lower and upper fixed

3.1 (a)

## thermal energy tends to flow from the

metal to the wood
wood has a higher specific heat capacity
than the iron rod
wood has a lower specific heat capacity than
the iron rod
the iron rod conducts thermal energy better
than the wood

2.

temperature.

3.

## If you were travelling to Antarctica, deduce

what would be the better thermometer to take
mercury or alcohol?

4.

i.
ii.

## mercury in glass thermometer

constant volume thermometer.

5.

## The triple point of water is 273.16 K. Express this

as a Celsius temperature.

6.

## Determine the ice point and the steam point of

pure water on the Kelvin scale?

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7.

8.

## If normal body temperature is 37.0 C, what is it

on the thermodynamic temperature scale?

CORE

## 3.1.3 HEAT AND INTERNAL ENERGY

Thermal energy of a system is referred to as internal energy
- the sum total of the potential energy and the random
kinetic energy of the molecules of the substance making
up the system.

Potential energy, U / J

gas
equilibrium separation
separation, r / m
r0
liquid

solid
minimum potential energy =

## Figure 305 Potential energy

versus separation of particles

## the energy stored in bonds called bond energy

intermolecular forces of attraction between particles.

## The bond energy is a form of chemical potential energy. It

becomes significant in chemistry when a chemical reaction
occurs, and bonds are broken and formed.
The intermolecular forces of attraction between particles
is due to the electromagnetic fundamental force since the
gravitational force is too small to be of any significance.
Figure 304 indicates how the intermolecular electromagnetic force F between particles varies with the distance
r between their centres.
At distances greater than r0 (less than 2.5 10-10 m)
attraction takes place, and at distances closer than r0 the
particles repel. At r0 the particles are in equilibrium. Any
displacement from the equilibrium position results in a
simple harmonic oscillation of a particle or molecule.

## Work done = force distance = F r = change in

potential energy

Ep
F = ____
r
In other words, the gradient of the potential energy curve
at any point on the curve gives the force that must be
applied to hold the molecules at that separation. We can
classify the phases according to the sizes of the energy .

## , the vibrations occur about fixed

When less than __
10
positions and the particles are in the solid phase. When

## , the particles have sufficient

approximately equal to __
10
energy to partly overcome the attractive forces and melting
occurs.

## , a liquid can form. When greater

When greater than __
10
than , the particles have sufficient energy to leave the
liquid and form a gas.

Force, F / N

## The kinetic energy is mainly due to the translational,

rotational and vibrational motion of the particles as
depicted in Figure 306.

repulsion

nuclear separation, r / m
10r 0

r0
attraction

gaseous phase

Figure 304

## Figure 305 shows the relationship between the potential

energy and the separation r of two molecules. At 0 K, the
average separation of particles centres is r0 and the overall
force is zero. This is the point of minimum potential
energy. Work will need to be done to move the particles
apart and there will be an increase in potential energy.

Vibrational
kinetic energy

Figure 306

Rotational
kinetic energy

Translational
kinetic energy

## major particle motion and energy

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THERMAL PHYSICS

## the aroma of the coffee due to diffusion caused by the

kinetic energy of the air molecules allowing the aroma

## Internal energy and thermal

energy (heat)
A macroscopic property is one that can be observed.
Physical properties such as melting point, boiling point,
density, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion and
electrical conductivity can be observed and measured.

TEMPERATURE
At the macroscopic level, temperature is the degree
of hotness or coldness of a body as measured by a
thermometer. Thermometers are made using the
thermometric properties of a substance such as:

## the expansion of a column of liquid in a capillary

tube (laboratory and clinical thermometers).
the electrical resistance of a wire (resistance and
thermister thermometers).
the difference in the rates of expansion of two
metals in contact (bimetallic strips).
the pressure of a gas at constant volume.
the volume of a gas at constant pressure (gases
expand by a greater amount and more evenly than
liquids).
the heating of two metal wires wound together
(thermocouple thermometers rely on the two
metals producing different currents).
the colour of a solid heated to high temperatures
(pyrometers).

## The expansion of solids, liquids and gases is a macroscopic

property that allows us to understand that matter in a
system has potential energy. When you heat a liquid it can
be seen to expand as in a thermometer and this means
that the potential energy of the system is increasing as
the molecules move further apart. The compressibility of
gases allow us to understand that the potential energy of
the molecules is decreasing.

CORE

TEMPERATURE

## Although the internal energy in the examples above can

never be absolutely determined, the change in internal
energy can be observed.

## THERMAL ENERGY HEAT

Students should understand that the term thermal
energy refers to the non-mechanical transfer of energy
between a system and its surroundings.
IBO 2007

## Therefore, it is incorrect to refer to the thermal energy in a

body. At the macroscopic level, thermal energy (heat) can
be transferred from one body to another by conduction,
convection, radiation or by combinations of these three.
Thermal conduction is the process by which a temperature
difference causes the transfer of thermal energy from the
hotter region of the body to the colder region by particle
collision without there being any net movement of the
substance itself.
Thermal convection is the process in which a temperature
difference causes the mass movement of fluid particles
from areas of high thermal energy to areas of low thermal
energy (the colder region).

INTERNAL ENERGY
As already mentioned, internal energy is the sum total of
the potential energy and the random kinetic energy of the
molecules of the substance making up a system. In order
to apply the Law of conservation to thermal systems, one
has to assume that a system has internal energy.
At the macroscopic level, it can be observed that molecules
are moving. When pollen (a fine powder produced by
flowers) is sprinkled on the surface of water and the setup is viewed under magnification, it can be seen that the
pollen particles carry out zig-zag motion called Brownian
Motion. Their motion is caused by the kinetic energy of
the water molecules. Walking past a coffee shop you smell

## Thermal radiation is energy produced by a source because

of its temperature that travels as electromagnetic waves. It
does not need the presence of matter for its transfer.
Conduction can occur in solids, liquids and gases. In
gases it occurs due to the collision between fast and slow
moving particles where kinetic energy is transferred
from the fast to the slow particle. The transfer of energy
is very slow because the particles are far apart relative
to solids and liquids. In liquids, a particle at higher
temperature vibrates about its position with increased
vibrational energy. Because the majority of the particles
are coupled to other particles they also begin to vibrate
more energetically. These in turn cause further particles

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CORE

## to vibrate and thermal conduction occurs. This process is

also slow because the particles have a large relative mass
and the increase in vibrations is rather small. In solids, the
transfer can occur in one of two ways. Most solids behave
similarly to liquids.
However, solids are held in their fixed positions more
rigidly than liquids and the transfer of vibrational energy
is more effective. However, again their large masses do not
allow for large energy transfer. If a substance in the solid
or molten form has mobile electrons, as is the case for
metals, these electrons gain energy due to the temperature
rise and their speeds increase much more than those held
in their fixed positions in the lattice. Metals are said to be
good conductors of heat but most other solids are good
insulators. Saucepans for cooking are usually made of
copper or aluminium because these metals conduct heat
quickly when placed on a stove. The handle is made from
a good solid insulator to reduce the conduction of heat.
Generally, liquids and gases are not good thermal
conductors. However, they can transfer heat readily by
convection. Ocean currents, wind and weather patterns
suggest that the mass movement of particles from one area
to another can cause movement of particles on the grand
scale.
Figure 307 shows a potassium permanganate crystal placed
in water inside a convection tube. Heat is applied for a
short period of time and the direction of the purple trail
is noted. Particles in a region of high thermal energy are
further apart and hence their density is lower. In a region
of low thermal energy the particles are closer together and
the region is more dense. As a result, the less dense region
rises as it is pushed out of the way by the more dense
region and a convection current is produced.

Convection tube

## 3.1.5,6 THE MOLE,

MOLAR MASS AND
The mass of an atom is exceedingly small. For example,
the mass of a fluorine atom is 3.16 10-23 g and the mass of
the isotope carbon12 is 1.99 10-23 g. Because the masses
of atoms are so small, it is more convenient to describe
the mass of an atom by comparing its mass with those of
other atoms.
In 1961 the International Union of Pure and Applied
Chemistry (IUPAC) defined the masses of atoms relative to
carbon12 that was assigned a value of 12.0000. Therefore,
the relative atomic mass is defined as the mass of an atom
when compared with 1/12 the mass of carbon12 atom.
Just as the relative atomic mass is used to describe the
masses of atoms, the relative molecular mass is used to
describe the masses of molecules. Therefore, the relative
molecular mass is defined as the mass of a molecule when
compared with 1/12 of the mass of a carbon12 atom.
It is convenient to group things into quantities. For
example, a box of diskettes, a ream of photocopy paper
(500 sheets), a dozen eggs are common groupings. The
SI fundamental unit for the amount of a substance is the
mole (mol).

water
Heat

Figure 307

## All thermal energy ultimately comes from the Sun in our

solar system. It travels through 150 million km of mostly
empty space. At the Earths atmosphere the radiant energy
is mainly reflected back into space. However, some is
transmitted and absorbed causing a heating effect. Just as
the Sun emits thermal radiation so does any source that
produces heat such as a light bulb or an electric heater.
Thermal radiation is mainly electromagnetic waves in
the infra-red region of the electromagnetic spectrum at
temperatures below 1000 C. Above this temperature,
wavelengths of the visible and ultra-violet regions are
also detected. Dull black bodies are better absorbers and
radiators than transparent or shiny bodies.

Potassium
permanganate
crystal

Convection current.

## Another way in which a fluid can move is by forced

convection. In this case, a pump or fan system maintains
the movement of a fluid. The cooling system in nuclear
reactors operates on this principle.

## The mole is the amount of substance that contains as

many elementary particles as there are in 0.012 kg of
carbon12.
of gases at the same temperature and pressure contained
the same number of particles. One mole of any gas contains
the Avogadro number of particles NA. It is now known
that one mole of a gas occupies 22.4 dm3 at 0 C and

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101.3 kPa pressure (STP) and contains 6.02 10 23
particles.

1.

64.0 g
m = _________________
n = __
= 2 mol
M ( 16.0 + 16.0 ) g mol1

2.

CORE

## When using the mole, the atoms or molecules should be

clearly stipulated. For example, one mole of copper atoms
contains 6.02 10 23 copper atoms. One mole of nitrogen
molecules (N2) contains 6.02 10 23 of nitrogen molecules
and 12.04 1023 nitrogen atoms.

Solution

## = 2NA the number of molecules

If we have one mole of NH4NO3, this contains:
= 6.02 1023 2
23

+
4

## 1 mol of NH ions = 6.02 10 ammonium ions

1 mol of NO ions = 6.02 10 23 nitrate ions
2 mol of nitrogen atoms = 1.204 1024 nitrogen atoms
4 mol of hydrogen atoms = 2.408 1024 hydrogen atoms
3 mol of oxygen atoms = 1.806 1024 oxygen atoms

3.

Volume
= 2 mol 22.4 dm3

## The amount of substance (the moles) is related to the mass

and the molar mass according to the following equation:

m
n = __
M

= 44.8 dm3
4.

m=nM

where

= 33 g

## M = the molar mass in g mol-1. The molar mass can be

obtained from the periodic table.

Example

1.

## Calculate the number of moles of oxygen

molecules contained in 64.0 g of oxygen gas, O2.

2.

## Calculate the number of oxygen molecules in part

1 of this example.

3.

## Determine the volume of oxygen gas that would

be present at STP.

4.

## Calculate the mass in 0.75 mol of carbon dioxide gas.

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6.

Exercise

1.

CORE

B.
C.
D.

## The number of moles of sodium chloride (NaCl)

in 100g of pure sodium chloride is (Mr of NaCl =
58.5 gmol-1)
A.
B.
C.
D.

3.

B.
C.
D.

7.

8.

## from the lower temperature object to the

higher temperature object
half way between the temperatures of the
two objects
from the higher temperature object to the
lower temperature object
in many different directions

A.
B.
C.
D.

16
8
4
2

## 5. The number of molecules present in 0.5 mol SO3 is

A.
B.
C.
D.

3 1023
6 1023
12 1023
24 1023

(b)

11.

100 g of copper
5.0 g of oxygen molecules
100 g of calcium carbonate, CaCO3
4.4 g of carbon dioxide
13.88 g of lithium

## A sample of aluminium sulfate Al2 (SO4)3 has a

mass of 34.2 g. Calculate:
(a)

## A sealed flask contains 16 g of oxygen (mass

number 16) and also 8 g of hydrogen (mass
number 1). The ratio of the number atoms of
hydrogen to the number of atoms of oxygen is

## 2.0 mole of iron, Fe

0.2 mole of zinc, Zn
2.5 mole of carbon dioxide, CO2
0.001 mole of sulfur dioxide, SO2
50 mole of benzene, C6H6

mole) in:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)

10.

Cl2
HCl
CuSO4
Na2CO3
CH4

## Calculate the mass of the given amounts of each of

the following substances:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)

9.

3 1023
6 1023
12 1023
24 1023

## Calculate the approximate molar masses of each of

the following molecules and compounds:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)

5850 mol
0.585 mol
1.71 mol
41.5 mol

## Two different objects with different temperatures

are in thermal contact with one another. When the
objects reach thermal equilibrium, the direction of
transfer of thermal energy will be
A.

4.

## the total potential energy stored in the

bonds of a substance
the potential and kinetic energy of
molecules in a substance
the energy stored in bonds and
intermolecular forces of a substance
the translational, rotational and vibrational
motion of particles in the substance

A.
B.
C.
D.

A.

2.

3.1 (b)

## the number of alumimium ions Al 3+ in the

sample
the number of sulfate ions SO4 2- in the
sample

## Classify the following as a macroscopic or

microscopic property of a gas
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)

volume
specific heat capacity
kinetic energy of a particle
pressure
temperature

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THERMAL PHYSICS

## 3.2 THERMAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER

used on the back of refrigerators because of its low thermal
capacity.

Example

## 3.2.2 Solve problems involving specic heat

capacities and thermal capacities.
3.2.3 Explain the physical dierences between
the solid, liquid and gaseous phases in
terms of molecular structure and particle
motion.

## The thermal capacity of a sphere of lead is 3.2 103 JK-1

Determine how much heat can be released if the
temperature changes from 61 C to 25 C.

## 3.2.4 Describe and explain the process of phase

changes in terms of molecular behaviour.
3.2.5 Explain in terms of molecular behaviour
why temperature does not change during a
phase change.
3.2.6 Distinguish between evaporation and
boiling.

CORE

## 3.2.1 Dene specic heat capacity and thermal

capacity.

Solution

Q = Thermal capacity T
3

( 61 25 ) C

36 C

= 3.2 10 JK
= 3.2 10 JK
= 115200J

## 3.2.7 Dene specic latent heat.

= 1.2 10 J
3.2.8 Solve problems involving specic latent
heats.
IBO 2007

## Note that a change in Kelvin temperature is the

same as a change in Celsius temperature

## When different substances undergo the same temperature

change they can store or release different amounts of
thermal energy. They have different thermal (heat)
capacities. If a substance has a high heat capacity it will
take in the thermal energy at a slower rate than a substance
with a low heat capacity because it needs more time to
absorb a greater quantity of thermal energy. They also
cool more slowly because they give out thermal energy at
a slower rate.

Heat capacity does not take into account the fact that
different masses of the same substance can absorb or
release different amounts of thermal energy.

## Consider three one kilogram blocks of aluminium, zinc

and lead with the same sized base that have been heated
to the same temperature of 80 C. They are quickly placed
on top of a large block of candle wax for a time period as
shown in Figure 308.
Aluminium

Zinc

Q
Thermal Capacity = ___ J K -1
T
Q is the change in thermal energy in joules J
CA NDL E WAX

## T is the change in temperature in kelvin degrees K.

Water is used in car cooling systems and heating systems
because of its high thermal capacity. A metal heat sink is

## Figure 308 Front-on view of the

metal blocks after a period of time.

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CORE

CHAPTER 3
The aluminium block melts the most wax and the lead
melts the least. Therefore, the metals of the same mass
give out different amounts of thermal energy in a certain
time period. This can be explained from a microscopic
viewpoint. The kilogram unit masses have different
numbers of particles of different types and masses. The
metal blocks were given the same amount of thermal
energy when they were heated to 80 C. When the thermal
energy gained by each metal is distributed amongst its
particles, the average energy change of each particle will
be different for each metal.

Example

## Determine how much thermal energy is released when

650 g of aluminium is cooled from 80 C to 20 C.

Solution

## Using the fact that Q = m.c.T, we have,

To obtain a characteristic value for the heat capacity
of materials, equal masses of the materials must be
considered. The physical property that includes the mass
is called the specific heat capacity of a substance c.
Specific heat capacity or specific heat is the heat capacity
per unit mass. It is defined as the quantity of thermal
energy required to raise the temperature of a unit mass of
a substance by one degree Kelvin.

Q
c = _____
mT

## Q = 0.650 kg 9.1 102 J kg-1 K-1 (80 20) K

= 3.549 104 J
= 4 104 J
That is, 4 104 J of heat is released.

Example

Q = m c T
Q = the change in thermal energy required to produce a
temperature change in Joules, J.
m = mass of the material in grams (g) kilograms (kg)
T = the temperature change in Kelvin, K.
Note that T is always positive because heat always
transfers from the higher temperature region to the lower
temperature region.
For gases, the molar heat capacity at constant volume Cv
and the molar heat capacity at constant pressure Cp are
more commonly used. Molar heat capacity is the quantity
of heat required to raise the temperature of one mole of the
gas by one degree Kelvin under the constant condition.
Figure 309 shows the specific heat capacity for some
common substances at room temperature (except ice)
Substance
Mercury
Zinc
Brass
Copper
Figure 309

Specific heat
J kg -1 K -1
2

1.3 10
1.4 102
3.8 102
3.8 102
3.85 102

Substance
Iron
Aluminium
Sodium
Ice
Water

Specific heat
J kg -1 K -1
2

4.7 10
9.1 102
1.23 103
2.1 103
4.18 103

## An active solar heater is used to heat 50 kg of water initially

at a temperature of 12 C. If the average rate that thermal
energy is absorbed in a one hour period is 920 J min-1 ,
determine the equilibrium temperature after one hour

Solution

## Quantity of heat absorbed in one hour = 920 J min-1

60 min = 5.52 104 J
Using the fact that Q = m c T , we have
5.52 104 J = 5.0 101 kg 4.18 103 J kg-1 K-1 (Tf 12)K
5.52 104 J = 2.09 105 JK-1 (Tf 12) C
5.52 104 J = 2.09 105 Tf 2.51 106 J
2.09 105 Tf = 5.52 104 J + 2.51 106 J

2.553 106 J
Tf = ______________
2.09 105 ( J K1 )
Tf = 12.26 C

Tf = 12 C

## Specic heat of some common substances

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## EXTENSION METHODS TO DETERMINE

SPECIFIC HEAT CAPACITY

## such as wool or polystyrene to reduce heat loss due to

conduction and convection.

## A calorimeter is a useful piece of equipment for

investigations in Thermal Physics because it allows masses
at different temperatures to be mixed with minimum
energy loss to the surroundings. It is used for direct and
indirect methods in determining the specific heat capacity
of a substance. (The name of the instrument is derived
from the Imperial unit, the calorie.)

## After the power supply is switched off, the temperature

should continue to rise for a period, and then level out for
an infinite time. However, heat is lost to the surroundings,
and the maximum temperature that could be achieved,
in theory, is never reached. Instead appreciable cooling
occurs. One method used to estimate the theoretical
maximum temperature is to use a cooling correction
curve as shown in Figure 311.

CORE

THERMAL PHYSICS

stirrer

joulemeter

## {Note that cooling correction is not required in the syllabus

but is included for possible extended essays.}

thermometer
copper vessel

heating coil
lagging

## Figure 310 Calorimeter being used to measure the

heating eect of a current
Figure 310 illustrates the use of a calorimeter to determine
the specific heat capacity of a liquid, in this case water.
The heating coil is used to convert electrical energy to
thermal energy. The electrical energy can be measured by
a joulemeter or by using a voltmeter/ammeter circuit. The
duration of time of electrical input is noted.
The thermal energy gained by the calorimeter cup and the
water is equal to the electrical energy lost to the calorimeter
cup and water.
Electrical energy lost =
V I t = [m c T]calorimeter cup + [m c T]water
where V is the potential difference across the heating coil
in volts V and I is the current in the amperes, A.
The specific heat capacity, c, of the calorimeter cup is
obtained from published values. The other quantities are
recorded and the specific heat capacity of the water is
calculated.
In calorimeter investigations, heat losses to the
surroundings need to be minimised. It is normal to polish
the calorimeter cup to reduce loss of heat due to radiation.
The calorimeter is also insulated with lagging materials

Temperature, C

liquid

theoretical curve

3
2
1

(= correction)
( = 2 1 )
actual curve

A1

A2

A
= -----1- , so that 3 = 2 +
A2

room
temp

2t

Figure 311

3t

Time, minutes

## A cooling correction is based on Newtons Law of Cooling.

It states that the rate of loss of heat of a body is proportional
to the difference in temperature between the body and its
surroundings (excess temperature). A full explanation of
this Law will not be given. If the power supply is switched off
at time 2t minutes, then the temperature should continue
to be recorded for a further t minutes. The correction
to the temperature can be obtained from the graph as
shown. The final temperature, 3, is then given as the final
temperature of the thermometer plus the correction .
Another direct electrical method used to determine the
specific heat capacity of a metal is shown in Figure 312.
An immersion heater is placed into a metal block. The
hole for the heater is lubricated with oil to allow even
heat transmission. The electrical energy lost to the block
is recorded for a given period of time and the specific
heat of the metal is calculated. Cooling correction is more
important in this case because the temperatures under
which the investigation is carried out could be much
higher than was the case when using a calorimeter.

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CHAPTER 3
We also have that,
thermometer

V
immersion
heater

CORE

metal block

Low voltage
supply

lagging

## = (2.0 kg) (4.18 103 J kg -1 K -1) (Tf 20.0) K

Figure 312 Electrical method using
an immersion heater and a metal block

## Thermal energy gained by the cup

= (0.21 kg) (9.1 102 J kg -1 K -1) (Tf 20.0) K

## A common indirect method to determine the specific

heat capacity of a solid and liquids is called the method of
mixtures. In the case of a solid, a known mass of the solid
is heated to a certain temperature, and then transferred
to a known mass of liquid in a calorimeter whose specific
heat capacity is known. The change in temperature is
recorded and the specific heat of the solid is calculated
from the results obtained. In the case of a liquid, a hot
solid of known specific heat is transferred to a liquid of
unknown specific heat capacity.

## 1.04 105 1.155 103 Tf

= (8.36 103 Tf 1.67 105) +(1.91 102 Tf 3.82 103)
That is,
9.71 103 Tf = 2.75 105
Giving
Tf = 28.3 C

Example
The final temperature of the water is 28 C
A block of copper of mass 3.0 kg at a temperature of
90 C is transferred to a calorimeter containing 2.00 kg of
water at 20 C. The mass of the copper calorimeter cup is
0.210 kg. Determine the final temperature of the water.

Exercise

1.

Solution

## The amount of thermal energy required to raise

the temperature of 1.53 103g of water from 15 K
to 40 K is
A.
B.
C.
D.

## The thermal energy gained by the water and the calorimeter

cup will be equal to the thermal energy lost by the copper.

3.2 (a)

1.6 107 J
1.6 105 J
4.4 107 J
4.4 105 J

2.

## The specific heat capacity of a metal block of mass

m is determined by placing a heating coil in it, as
shown in the following diagram.
The block is electrically heated for time t and the
maximum temperature change recorded is . The
constant ammeter and voltmeter readings during
the heating are I and V respectively. The electrical
energy supplied is equal to VIt.

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9.

## If 2.93 106 J is used to raise the temperature of

water from 288 K to 372 K, calculate the mass of
water present.

10.

## 1.7 mJ of energy is required to cool a 15 kg mass of

brass from 400 C to 25 C. Determine the specific
heat capacity of brass.

11.

## A piece of iron is dropped from an aeroplane at

a height of 1.2 km. If 75% of the kinetic energy
of the iron is converted to thermal energy on
impact with the ground, determine the rise in
temperature.

12.

## If 115 g of water at 75.5 C is mixed with 0.22 kg of

water at 21 C, determine the temperature of the
resulting mixture.

13.

## Describe an experiment that would allow you to

determine the specific heat capacity of a metal.

thermometer

V
immersion
heater

metal block
lagging

Low voltage
supply

## The specific heat capacity is best calculated using

which one of the following expressions?
A.
B.
C.
D.

m
VI
VI
c=
m
VIt
c=
m
m
c=
VIt
c=

(i)
(ii)
(iii)

3.

## 5.4 106 J of energy is required to heat a 28 kg

mass of steel from 22 C to 450 C. Determine the
specific heat capacity of the steel.

4.

## Liquid sodium is used as a coolant in some

nuclear reactors. Describe the reason why liquid
sodium is used in preference to water.

5.

## 6.00 102 kg of pyrex glass loses 8.70 106 J of

thermal energy. If the temperature of the glass was
initially 95.0 C before cooling, calculate is its final
temperature.

(iv)
(v)

6.

## A piece of wood placed in the Sun absorbs more

thermal energy than a piece of shiny metal of the
same mass. Explain why the wood feels cooler
than the metal when you touch them.

7.

## A hot water vessel contains 3.0 dm3 at 45 C.

Calculate the rate that the water is losing thermal
energy (in joules per second) if it cools to 38 C
over an 8.0 h period.

8.

## Determine how many joules of energy are released

when 870 g of aluminium is cooled from 155 C to
20 C.

## Sketch the apparatus.

Describe what measurements need to be
made and how they are obtained.
State and explain the equation used to
calculate the specific heat capacity of the
metal.
Describe 2 main sources of error that are
likely to occur in the experiment.
Is the experimental value likely to be higher
or lower than the theoretical value, if the
experiment was carried out in a school

14.

## A heating fluid releases 4.2 107 Jkg-1 of heat as it

undergoes combustion. If the fluid is used to heat
250 dm3 of water from 15 C to 71 C, and the
conversion is 65% efficient, determine the mass
of the heating fluid that will be consumed in this
process.

15.

## A large boulder of 125 kg falls off a cliff of height

122 m into a pool of water containing 120 kg of
water. Determine the rise in temperature of the
water. Assume that no water is lost in the entry of
the boulder, and that all the heat goes to the water.

16.

## A thermally insulated container of water is

dropped from a large height and collides
inelastically with the ground. Determine the
height from which it is dropped if the temperature
of the water increases by 1.5 C.

## (Take the specific heat capacity of pyrex glass to be

8.40 10 2 J kg -1 K-1)

CORE

THERMAL PHYSICS

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CORE

CHAPTER 3
17.

## A piece of copper is dropped from a height of

225 m. If 75% of its kinetic energy is converted to
heat energy on impact with the ground, calculate
the rise in temperature of the copper. (Use the
table of specific heat capacities to find the value for
copper).

18.

## 5kg of lead shot is poured into a cylindrical

cardboard tube 2.0 m long. The ends of the tube
are sealed, and the tube is inverted 50 times. The
temperature of the lead increases by 4.2 C. If
the specific heat of lead is 0.031 kcal kg-1 C-1,
determine the number of work units in joules that
are equivalent to the heat unit of 1 kilocalorie.

## An understanding of thermal energy is based upon a theory

called the moving particle theory or kinetic theory (for
gases) that uses models (Figure 314) to explain the structure
and nature of matter. The basic assumptions of this moving
particle theory relevant to thermal energy are:

## all matter is composed of extremely small particles

all particles are in constant motion
if particles collide with neighbouring particles, they
conserve their kinetic energy
a mutual attractive force exists between particles

solid

liquid

## The large number of particles in a volume of a solid, liquid

or gas ensures that the number of particles moving in all
directions with a certain velocity is constant over time.
There would be no gaseous state if the particles were losing
kinetic energy.
A mutual attractive force must exist between particles
otherwise the particles of nature would not be combined
as we know them. Further explanation of this assumption
will be given later in this topic.

## are placed on water and observed under a microscope, the

pollen grains undergo constant random zig-zag motion.
The motion becomes more vigorous as the thermal energy
is increased with heating. A Whitley Bay smoke cell uses
smoke in air to achieve the same brownian motion. In both
cases, the motion is due to the smaller particles striking
the larger particles and causing them to move.

gas

## Figure 314 Arrangement of particles

in solids, liquids and gases
An atom is the smallest neutral particle that represents an
element as displayed in a periodic table of elements. Atoms
contain protons, neutrons and electrons and an array of
other sub-atomic particles. Atomic diameters are of the
order of magnitude 1010 m. Atoms can combine to form
molecules of substances. In chemistry, the choice of the
terms e.g. atoms, molecules, ions are specific to elements
and compounds. In physics, the word particle is used to
describe any of these specific chemistry terms at this stage
of the course.
As previously mentioned, evidence for the constant motion
of particles can be gained from observation of what is
known as Brownian Motion. If pollen grains from flowers

## Matter is defined as anything that has mass and occupies

space. There are four states of matter which are also called
the four phases of matter solids, liquids, gases and
plasma. Most matter on Earth is in the form of solids,
liquids and gases, but most matter in the Universe is in the
plasma state. Liquids, gases and plasma are fluids.
A plasma is made by heating gaseous atoms and molecules
to a sufficient temperature to cause them to ionise. The
resulting plasma consists then of some neutral particles but
mostly positive ions and electrons or other negative ions.
The Sun and other stars are mainly composed of plasma.
The remainder of this chapter will concentrate on the other
three states of matter, and their behaviour will be explained in
terms of their macroscopic and microscopic characteristics
of which some are given in Figures 315 and 316.
Characteristic
Solid
Shape
Definite
Volume
Definite
Almost
Compressibility
Incompressible
Diffusion
Small
Comparative
High
Density

Liquid
Variable
Definite
Very slightly
Compressible
Slow

Gas
Variable
Variable
Highly
Compressible
Fast

High

Low

## Figure 315 Some macroscopic

characteristics of solids, liquids and gases
Macroscopic properties are all the observable behaviours of
that material such as shape, volume and compressibility.

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## The many macroscopic or physical properties of a substance

can provide evidence for the nature and structure of that
substance.
Characteristic

Kinetic energy

Potential energy
Mean molecular
Separation (r0)
Thermal energy
of particles ()
Molecules per m3

Solid

Vibrational

High

Liquid

Gas
Mostly
Vibrational translational
Rotational

Higher
rotational

Some
translational Higher
vibrational
Higher
Highest

r0

r0

10r0

< /10

>

1028

1028

1025

## Figure 316 Some microscopic

characteristics of solids, liquids and gases
Microscopic characteristics help to explain what is
happening at the atomic level, and this part of the model
will be interpreted further at a later stage.
The modern technique of X-ray diffraction that will be
studied in detail in a later chapter has enabled scientists
to determine the arrangement of particles in solids. The
particles are closely packed and each particle is strongly
bonded to its neighbour and is held fairly rigidly in a fixed
position to give it definite shape in a crystalline lattice.
Some patterns are disordered as is the case for ceramics,
rubber, plastics and glass. These substances are said to be
amorphous. The particles have vibrational kinetic energy
in their fixed positions and the force of attraction between
the particles gives them potential energy.
In liquids the particles are still closely packed and the
bonding between particles is still quite strong. However,
they are not held as rigidly in position and the bonds can
break and reform. This infers that the particles can slowly
and randomly move relative to each other to produce
variable shape and slow diffusion. Particles in a liquid
have vibrational, rotational and some translational kinetic
energy due to their higher mean speeds. The potential
energy of the particles in a liquid is somewhat higher than
for a solid because the spacing between the particles is
large.
In gases the particles are widely spaced and the particles
only interact significantly on collision or very close
approach. Because of the rapid random zig-zag motion of
the particles, a gas will become dispersed throughout any

## container into which it is placed. Diffusion (the spreading

out from the point of release) can occur readily. Gases
are compressible because the particles are widely spaced
at a distance much greater than the size of the particles.
The much higher mean speeds are due to an increased
translational kinetic energy of the particles. Gases have
a much higher potential energy than liquids because the
particles are much further apart.

## 3.2.4 THE PROCESS OF PHASE

CORE

THERMAL PHYSICS

CHANGES
A substance can undergo changes of state or phase changes
at different temperatures. Pure substances (elements and
compounds) have definite melting and boiling points
which are characteristic of the particular pure substance
being examined. For example, oxygen has a melting point
of -218.8 C and a boiling point of -183 C at standard
atmospheric pressure.
The heating curve for benzene is illustrated in Figure 317.
A sample of benzene at 0C is heated in a closed container
and the change in temperature is graphed as a function
of time. The macroscopic behaviour of benzene can be
described using the graph and the microscopic behaviour
can be interpreted from the macroscopic behaviour.
Temperature /C
L iquid-gas phase
change

boiling 80C
point

G AS
Solid-liquid
phase change

melting
point 5.5C

L I QUID

SO L I D
Heating time /min

## Figure 317 Heating curve for benzene.

When the solid benzene is heated the temperature
begins to rise. When the temperature reaches 5.5 C the
benzene begins to melt. Although heating continues the
temperature of the solid liquid benzene mixture remains
constant until all the benzene has melted. Once all the
benzene has melted the temperature starts to rise until the
liquid benzene begins to boil at a temperature of 80 C.
With continued heating the temperature remains constant
until all the liquid benzene has been converted to the
gaseous state. The temperature then continues to rise as
the gas is in a closed container.

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CHAPTER 3

## 3.2.5 MOLECULAR BEHAVIOUR AND

CORE

PHASE CHANGES
The moving particle theory can be used to explain the
microscopic behaviour of these phase changes. When
solid benzene is heated the particles of the solid vibrate
at an increasing rate as the temperature is increased.
The vibrational kinetic energy of the particles increases.
At the melting point a temperature is reached at which
the particles vibrate with sufficient thermal energy to
break from their fixed positions and begin to slip over
each other. As the solid continues to melt, more and
more particles gain sufficient energy to overcome the
forces between particles and over time all the solid
particles change to a liquid. The potential energy of
the system increases as the particles begin to move. As
heating continues the temperature of the liquid rises
due to an increase in the vibrational, rotational and
part translational kinetic energy of the particles. At
the boiling point a temperature is reached at which the
particles gain sufficient energy to overcome the interparticle forces present in the liquid benzene and escape
into the gaseous state. Continued heating at the boiling
point provides the potential energy needed for all the
benzene molecules to be converted from a liquid to a
gas. With further heating the temperature increases
due to an increase in the kinetic energy of the gaseous
molecules due to the larger translational motion.

## remaining particles in the liquid has been lowered. Since

temperature is proportional to the average kinetic energy
of the particles, a lower kinetic energy implies a lower
temperature, and this is the reason why the temperature of
the liquid falls as evaporative cooling takes place. Another
way of explaining the temperature drop is in terms of latent
heat. As a substance evaporates, it needs thermal energy
input to replace its lost latent heat of vaporisation and this
thermal energy can be obtained from the remaining liquid
and its surroundings.
A substance that evaporates rapidly is said to be a volatile
liquid. A liquids volatility is controlled by a factor known
as its equilibrium vapour pressure. There are forces that
must be overcome before a particle can leave the surface of
a liquid. Different liquids exert different vapour pressures
that depend on the relative strengths of the intermolecular
forces present in the liquids. Hydrofluorocarbons and
CFCs used in refrigerators, and ether, chloroform and
ethanol have relatively high vapour pressures.
The values in Figure 318 compare the vapour pressure of
some liquids at 293 K.
Substance
Ether
Chloroform
Ethanol
Water
Mercury

58.9
19.3
5.8
2.3
0.0002

## 3.2.6 EVAPORATION AND BOILING

Figure 318
When water is left in a container outside, exposed to the
atmosphere, it will eventually evaporate. Mercury from
broken thermometers has to be cleaned up immediately
due to its harmful effects. Water has a boiling point of
100 C and mercury has a boiling point of 357 C. Yet they
both evaporate at room temperature.
The process of evaporation is a change from the liquid
state to the gaseous state that occurs at a temperature
below the boiling point.
The moving particle theory can be applied to understand
the evaporation process. A substance at a particular
temperature has a range of kinetic energies. So in a liquid
at any particular instant, a small fraction of the molecules
will have kinetic energies considerably greater then the
average value. If these particles are near the surface of the
liquid, they may have enough kinetic energy to overcome
the attractive forces of neighbouring particles and escape
from the liquid as a vapour. Now that the more energetic
particles have escaped, the average kinetic energy of the

## Although the vapour pressure of mercury is much lower

than the other substances listed at room temperature,
some evaporation does occur. Because of its extreme
toxicity any mercury spill is treated seriously. Ether has a
high vapour pressure. If a stream of air is blown through a
sample of ether in a beaker that is placed on a thin film of
water, the water will eventually turn to ice.
When overheating occurs in a human on hot days, the
body starts to perspire. Evaporation of the perspiration
results in a loss of thermal energy from the body so that
body temperature can be controlled. Local anaesthetics
with high vapour pressures are used to reduce pain on the
skin. Thermal energy flows from the surrounding flesh
causing its temperature to drop and thereby anaesthetises
the area.
A liquid boils when the vapour pressure of the liquid
equals the atmospheric pressure of its surroundings.
As the boiling point is reached, tiny bubbles appear

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THERMAL PHYSICS

1.

C.
D.
2.

5.

A.
B.

D.

6.

## freezing and sublimation

melting and evaporation
evaporation and condensation
sublimation and condensation

watt
the product of the newton and the metre
the quotient of the watt and the second
the product of the joule and the second

## Base your answers to Questions 5 and 6 on the following

graph. The graph shows the temperature of an unknown
substance of mass 10.0 kg as heat is added at a constant
rate of 6300 Jmin-1. The substance is a solid at 0 0C.

20

## first minute to the end of the fourth minute

seventh minute to the end of the
seventeenth minute
seventeenth minute to the end of the twenty
first minute
nineteenth to the end of the twenty fifth
minute

63 Jkg-1K-1
105 Jkg-1K-1
126 Jkg-1K-1
504 Jkg-1K-1

7.

## Give five macroscopic and five microscopic

characteristics of the liquid/gas in a butane lighter.

8.

## Describe the components of internal energy in

each of the following situations

energy?
A.
B.
C.
D.

15

is solid is:
A.
B.
C.
D.

## For a given mass of a certain liquid, the magnitude

of the thermal energy transfer is the same for the
following two processes
A.
B.
C.
D.

10

## The internal potential energy of the unknown

substance increases without any change in internal
kinetic energy from the beginning of the:

A.

## the potential energy holding the atoms in

fixed positions
the vibrational energy of the atoms
the random translational energy of the
atoms
the rotational energy of the atoms

T ime / min

C.

D.

4.

## all particles moving in straight lines

smoke particles moving randomly by air
molecules
smoke particles colliding with each other
air molecules in random motion

## The internal energy of a monatomic gas such as

neon is mainly due to

B.
C.

3.

50

3.2 (b)

## When smoke is strongly illuminated and viewed

under a microscope it is possible to observe
A.
B.

100

CORE

Exercise

150
Temperature / oC

## throughout the liquid. If the vapour pressure of the bubble

is less than the atmospheric pressure the bubbles are
crushed. However a point is reached when the pressures
are equal. The bubble will then increase in size as it rises to
the surface of the liquid.

(a)
(b)
(c)

## air at room temperature

a jar of honey
a melting ice cream.

9.

## Explain the difference between heat, thermal

energy and temperature.

10.

11.

## Draw a fully labelled cooling curve for the

situation when steam at 110 C is converted to ice
at 25 C.

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CORE

CHAPTER 3
12.

(a)
(b)

13.

## The temperatures of the same volume of air and

water are raised by a small amount. Explain why
a different amount of heat is required for each
process.

14.

## If you increase the heat under a pot of water in

which you are boiling potatoes, will the potatoes
be cooked faster?

15.

Convert 63 C to Kelvin
Convert 52 K to degrees Celsius

## If you wanted to cool a bottle of soft drink at the

beach, would you be better to wrap a wet towel
around it or to put it into the seawater? Explain

16.

## Why is it important not to stand in a draught after

vigorous exercise?

17.

## Describe and explain the process of evaporative

cooling in terms of its microscopic properties.

## When thermal energy is absorbed/released by a body,

the temperature may rise/fall, or it can remain constant.
If the temperature remains constant then a phase change
will occur as the thermal energy must either increase the
potential energy of the particles as they move further
apart or decrease the potential energy of the particles as
they move closer together. If the temperature changes,
then the energy must increase the average kinetic energy
of the particles.
The quantity of heat required to change one kilogram of
a substance from one phase to another is called the latent
heat of transformation.
Q = mL
Q is the quantity of heat absorbed or released during the
phase change in J,
m is the mass of the substance in kg and

18.

## A kettle made of stainless steel containing water

is heated to a temperature of 95 C. Describe
the processes of thermal energy transfer that are
occurring in the stainless steel kettle and the water.

## 3.2.7 LATENT HEAT

The thermal energy which a particle absorbs in melting,
evaporating or sublimating or gives out in freezing,
condensing or sublimating is called latent heat because it
does not produce a change in temperature. See Figure 320.

T H E R M A L E NE R G Y A DDE D

sublimation
melting
SOL I D

evaporation
L I QUI D

freezing

GAS

## L is the latent heat of the substance in J kg -1

L could be the latent heat of fusion Lf, the latent heat of
vaporisation Lv or the latent heat of sublimation Ls. The
latent heat of fusion of a substance is less than the latent
heat of vaporisation or the latent heat of sublimation. More
work has to be done to reorganise the particles as they
increase their volume in vaporisation and sublimation
than the work required to allow particles to move from
their fixed position and slide over each other in fusion.
Figure 321 lists the latent heat of some substances.
Substance Melting Latent heat Boiling Latent heat of
point of fusion point Vaporisation
K
105 J kg-1
K
105 J kg-1
Oxygen
Ethanol
Copper
Water

55
159
600
1356
273

0.14
1.05
0.25
1.8
3.34

90
351
1893
2573
373

2.1
8.7
7.3
73
22.5

condensation

## Figure 321 Some Latent Heat Values

T H E R M A L E NE R G Y GI V E N OUT

Example
Figure 320 Macroscopic
transformations between states of matter.
Sublimation is a change of phase directly from a solid to
a gas or directly from a gas to a solid. Iodine and solid
carbon dioxide are examples of substances that sublime.

## Calculate the heat energy required to evaporate 5.0 kg of

ethanol at its boiling point.

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The latent heat of vaporisation can be found using a selfjacketing vaporiser as shown in Figure 323. The liquid
to be vaporised is heated electrically so that it boils at a
steady rate. The vapour that is produced passes to the
condenser through holes labelled H in the neck of the
the condenser.

Solution

## Given that m = 5.0 kg and Lv = 8.7 105 J kg -1.

We then have,
= 4.35 106 J = 4.4 106 J

CORE

THERMAL PHYSICS

V

Example
H

Vapour acting as
a jacket
Liquid under
investigation

## Determine the heat energy released when 1.5 kg of

gaseous water at 100 C is placed in a freezer and
converted to ice at -7 0C. The specific heat capacity of ice
is 2.1 103 J kg1 K1..

Heating coil

Wa ter outflow

Solution
C ondenser

## The energy changes in this process can be represented as

shown in Figure 322.

C old water
C ollecting vessel

Using

C ondensed vapour

## Q = mLV + mcTWATER + mLf + mcTICE

Figure 323 Latent heat of vaporisation apparatus.
= m [LV + cTWATER+ Lf + cTICE]
5

## = 1.5 [22.5 10 + (4180 100) + 3.34 10 + (2100 7)]

= 4.52 106 J
That is, the energy released is 4.5 106 J or 4.5 MJ.

## Eventually, the temperature of all the parts of the apparatus

container of known mass is placed under the condenser
outlet for a measured time t, and the measured mass of the
condensed vapour m is determined. The heater current I
is measured with the ammeter A and potential difference
V is measured with a voltmeter V. They are closely
monitored and kept constant with a rheostat.

T H E R M A L E NE R G Y R E L E A SE D
L atent heat of fusion

I C E at
7C

## L atent heat of evapor ation

L I Q U I D water at
0 C

Specific heat I ce

0 C

100 C

G ASE OU S water at
100 C

## The electrical energy supplied is used to vaporise the liquid

and some thermal energy H is lost to the surroundings.
Therefore:
V1I1t = m1LV + H
In order to eliminate H from the relationship, the process
is repeated using a different heater potential difference
and current. The vapour is collected for the same time t
The rate of vaporisation will be different but the heat lost
to the surroundings will be the same as each part of the

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CHAPTER 3
apparatus will be at the same temperature as it was with
the initial rate vaporisation.

4.

## Determine the amount of thermal energy that is

required to melt 35 kg of ice at its melting point.

Therefore:

5.

## A 5.0 102 g aluminium block is heated to 350 C.

Determine the number of kilograms of ice at 0 C
that the aluminium block will melt as it cools.

6.

## Steam coming from a kettle will give you a nastier

burn than boiling water. Explain why.

7.

## An immersion heater can supply heat at a rate of

5.2 102 J s -1. Calculate the time that it will take
to completely evaporate 1.25 10-1 kg of water
initially at a temperature of 21 C?

8.

## A 3.45 kg sample of iron is heated to a temperature

of 295 C and is then transferred to a 2.0 kg copper
vessel containing 10.0 kg of a liquid at an initial
temperature of 21.0 C. If the final temperature of
the mixture is 31.5 C, determine the specific heat
capacity of the liquid?

9.

## A mass of dry steam at 1.0 102 C is blown over

a 1.5 kg of ice at 0.0 C in an isolated container.
Calculate the mass of steam needed to convert the
ice to water at 21.5 C.

10.

## A freezer in a refrigerator takes 2.00 hours to

convert 2.15 kg of water initially at 21.5 C to just
frozen ice. Calculate the rate at which the freezer
absorbs heat.

11.

## Describe an experiment to determine the specific

heat capacity of an unknown metal. Sketch the
apparatus used and describe what measurements
are made. State the main sources of error and
explain how they can be minimised.

12.

## Calculate how much thermal energy is released

when 1.2 kg of steam at 100 C is condensed to
water at the same temperature.
(Lv = 2.25 106 Jkg-1)

13.

## Determine how much energy is released when

1.5 kg of gaseous water at 100 C is placed in a
freezer and converted to ice at 7 C . (the specific
heat capacity of ice is 2.1 103 J kg-1 K-1).

14.

## Describe an experiment that can be used to

determine the latent heat of vaporisation of a
liquid.

CORE

V2I2t = m2LV + H
By subtracting the two equations:
(V1I1 V2I2)t = (m1 m2)LV
From this equation, the value of the latent heat
of vaporisation of the unknown substance can be
determined.

Exercise

1.

required to
A.
B.
C.
D.

2.

## raise the temperature of ice from 0 C to 10 C

change 1 dm3 of ice at 0 C to water at 0 C
change 1kg of ice at 0 C to water at 0 C
change the temperature of 1 kg by 10 C

## A substance changes from liquid to gas at its

normal boiling temperature. What change, if
any, occurs in the average kinetic energy and the
average potential energy of its molecules?

A.
B.
C.
D.
3.

3.2 (c)

Average kinetic
energy

Average potential
energy

constant
increases
increases
constant

increases
constant
decreases
constant

## Thermal energy is transferred to a mass of water

in four steps. Which one of the four steps requires
the most thermal energy?
A.
B.
C.
D.

5 C to 20 C
15 C to 35 C
75 C to 90 C
95 C to 101 C

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THERMAL PHYSICS

## 3.2.9 Dene pressure.

3.2.10 State the assumptions of the kinetic model
Of an ideal gas.
3.2.11 State that temperature is a measure of
the average random kinetic energy of the
molecules of an ideal gas.
3.2.12 Explain the macroscopic behaviour of an
ideal gas in terms of a molecular model.
IBO 2007

3.2.9 PRESSURE
Investigations into the behaviour of gases involve
measurement of pressure, volume, temperature and mass.
Experiments use these macroscopic properties of a gas to
formulate a number of gas laws.

## certain limited conditions but they can condense to liquids,

then solidify if the temperature is lowered. Furthermore,
there are relatively small forces of attraction between
particles of a real gas, and even this is not allowable for
an ideal gas.
Most gases, at temperatures well above their boiling points
and pressures that are not too high, behave like an ideal gas.
In other words, real gases vary from ideal gas behaviour at
high pressures and low temperatures.
When the moving particle theory is applied to gases it is
generally called the kinetic theory of gases. The kinetic
theory relates the macroscopic behaviour of an ideal gas to
the behaviour of its molecules.
The assumptions or postulates of the moving particle
theory are extended for an ideal gas to include

## In 1643 Torricelli found that the atmosphere could

support a vertical column of mercury about 76 cm high
and the first mercury barometer became the standard
instrument for measuring pressure. The pressure unit
760 mm Hg (760 millimetres of mercury) represented
standard atmospheric pressure. In 1646, Pascal found that
the atmosphere could support a vertical column of water

CORE

## For our purposes in this section, pressure can be defined

as the force exerted over an area.

## Gases consist of tiny particles called atoms

(monatomic gases such as neon and argon) or
molecules.
The total number of molecules in any sample of a
gas is extremely large.
The molecules are in constant random motion.
The range of the intermolecular forces is small
compared to the average separation of the
molecules.
The size of the particles is relatively small compared
with the distance between them.
Collisions of short duration occur between
molecules and the walls of the container and the
collisions are perfectly elastic.
No forces act between particles except when they
collide, and hence particles move in straight lines.
Between collisions the molecules obey Newtons
Laws of motion.

P = F /A
The SI unit of pressure is the pascal Pa.
1 atm = 1.01 105 Nm-2 = 101.3 kPa = 760 mmHg

## Based on these postulates the view of an ideal gas is one

of molecules moving in random straight line paths at
constant speeds until they collide with the sides of the
container or with one another. Their paths over time are
therefore zig-zags. Because the gas molecules can move
freely and are relatively far apart, they occupy the total
volume of a container.

IDEAL GAS
An ideal gas is a theoretical gas that obeys the ideal gas
equation exactly. Real gases conform to the gas laws under

## The large number of particles ensures that the number of

particles moving in all directions is constant at any time.

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CHAPTER 3

## 3.2.11 TEMPERATURE AND AVERAGE

RANDOM KINETIC ENERGY

CORE

## Temperature is a measure of the average random kinetic

energy of an ideal gas.
At the microscopic level, temperature is regarded
as the measure of the average kinetic energy per
molecule associated with its movements. For gases,
it can be shown that the average kinetic energy,

1
3
E k = --- mv 2 = --- kT where k = Boltzmann constant
2
2
v 2 T
The term average kinetic energy is used because, at a
particular temperature different particles have a wide
range of velocities, especially when they are converted to a
gas. This is to say that at any given temperature the average
speed is definite but the velocities of particular molecules
can change as a result of collision.
Figure 325 shows a series of graphs for the same gas
at three different temperatures. In 1859 James Clerk
Maxwell (1831-1879) and in 1861 Ludwig Boltzmann
(1844-1906) developed the mathematics of the kinetic
theory of gases. The curve is called a Maxwell-Boltzmann
speed distribution and it is calculated using statistical
mechanics. It shows the relationship between the relative
number of particles N in a sample of gas and the speeds v
that the particles have when the temperature is changed.
(T3 > T2 > T1)
The graphs do not show a normal distribution as the
graphs are not bell-shaped. They are slightly skewed to
the left. The minimum speed is zero at the left end of
the graphs. At the right end they do not touch the x-axis
because a small number of particles have very high speeds.
N

T1
T2

## The peak of each curve is at the most probable speed vp

a large number of particles in a sample of gas have their
speeds in this region. When the mathematics of statistical
mechanics is applied it is found that mean squared speed
vav2 is higher than the most probable speed. Another
quantity more often used is called the root mean square
speed Vrms and it is equal to the square root of the mean
squared speed.

v rms =

## The root mean square is higher than the mean squared

speed.
Other features of the graphs show that the higher the
temperature, the more symmetric the curves becomes.
The average speed of the particles increases and the peak
is lowered and shifted to the right. The areas under the
graphs only have significance when N is defined in a
different way from above.
Figure 326 shows the distribution of the number of
particles with a particular energy N against the kinetic
energy of the particles Ek at a particular temperature. The
shape of the kinetic energy distribution curve is similar to
the speed distribution curve and the total energy of the
gas is given by the area under the curve.
N

T1
T2
T2 > T1

Ek

## Figure 326 Distribution of kinetic energies

for the same gas at dierent temperatures.
The average kinetic energy of the particles of all gases is
the same. However, gases have different masses. Hydrogen
molecules have about one-sixteenth the mass of oxygen
molecules and therefore have higher speeds if the average
kinetic energy of the hydrogen and the oxygen are the same.

T3 > T2 > T1
T3

## Because the collisions are perfectly elastic there is no loss

in kinetic energy as a result of the collisions.
v mp v v rms

v ms

## Figure 325 Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution for

the same gas at dierent temperatures.

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THERMAL PHYSICS

AN IDEAL GAS
Robert Boyle (1627-1691) discussed that the pressure of a
gas at constant temperature is proportional to its density.
He also investigated how the pressure is related to the
volume for a fixed mass of gas at constant temperature.
Boyles Law relates pressure and volume for a gas at fixed
temperature.

## In 1787 Jacques Charles (17461823) performed

experiments to investigate how the volume of a gas
changed with temperature. Gay-Lussac (17781850)
published more accurate investigations in 1802.
A very simple apparatus to investigate Charles Law is
shown in Figure 328. A sample of dry air is trapped in a
capillary tube by a bead of concentrated sulfuric acid. The
capillary tube is heated in a water bath and the water is
constantly stirred to ensure that the whole air column is at
the same temperature.
thermometer

capillary tube

Boyles Law for gases states that the pressure of a fixed mass
of gas is inversely proportional to its volume at constant
temperature.

(e.g. sulfuric acid)
water bath

1 PV = constant
P __
V

CORE

still constant

air column

H E A T

P1V1 = P2V2
Figure 328

## When a pressure versus volume graph is drawn for the

collected data a hyperbola shape is obtained, and when
pressure is plotted against the reciprocal of volume a
straight line (direct proportionality) is obtained. See
Figure 327.

pressure, P mm Hg

pressure, P mm Hg

## The investigation should be carried out slowly to allow

thermal energy to pass into or out of the thick glass walls
of the capillary tube. When the volume and temperature
measurements are plotted, a graph similar to Figure 328
is obtained.

PV

273
0
volume, V cm 3

Figure 327

V cm3

## The readings of P and V must be taken slowly to maintain

constant temperature because when air is compressed, it
warms up slightly.

1 cm3
V

## The pressure that the molecules exert is due to their

collisions with the sides of the container. When the
volume of the container is decreased, the frequency of the
particle collisions with the walls of the container increases.
This means that there is a greater force in a smaller area
leading to an increase in pressure. The pressure increase
has nothing to do with the collisions of the particles with
each other.

0 100
273 373

T C
T K

## Figure 329 Variation of volume with temperature.

Note that from the extrapolation of the straight line that
the volume of gases would be theoretically zero at 273 C
called absolute zero. The scale chosen is called the Kelvin
scale K.
The Charles (Gay-Lussac) Law of gases states that:
The volume of a fixed mass of gas at constant pressure
is directly proportional to its absolute (Kelvin)
temperature.

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CHAPTER 3

CORE

## The volume of a fixed mass of gas increases by 1/273

of its volume at 0 C for every degree Celsius rise in
temperature provided the pressure is constant.

## The variation in pressure as the temperature is changed

is measured and graphed. A typical graph is shown in
Figure 331.
Pressure, P
kPa

## This can also be stated as:

V
V T V = kt so that ___1 = k
T1
Therefore,

V1 ___
V
___
= 2
T1 T2
As the temperature of a gas is increased, the average kinetic
energy per molecule increases. The increase in velocity
of the molecules leads to a greater rate of collisions, and
each collision involves greater impulse. Hence the volume
of the gas increases as the collisions with the sides of the
container increase.
Experiments were similarly carried out to investigate the
relationship between the pressure and temperature of a
fixed mass of various gases.
The essential parts of the apparatus shown in Figure 330
are a metal sphere or round bottomed flask, and a
Bourdon pressure gauge. The sphere/flask and bourdon
gauge are connected by a short column of metal tubing/
capillary tube to ensure that as little air as possible is at a
different temperature from the main body of enclosed gas.
The apparatus in Figure 330 allows the pressure of a fixed
volume of gas to be determined as the gas is heated.

Bourdon gauge

273
0

0 100
273 373

T C
T K

## Figure 331 Variation of pressure with temperature.

The Pressure (Admonton) Law of Gases states that:
The pressure of a fixed mass of gas at constant volume
is directly proportional to its absolute (Kelvin)
temperature.

P1
P T P = kT------ = k
T1
Therefore,

P
P
-----1- = -----2T1
T2
As the temperature of a gas is increased, the average kinetic
energy per molecule increases. The increase in velocity of
the molecules leads to a greater rate of collisions, and each
collision involves greater impulse. Hence the pressure of
the gas increases as the collisions with the sides of the
container increase.

counter-balance
metal stem
thermometer

retort
stand

air enclosed
in a metal
sphere

Figure 330

## Pressure law apparatus.

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