Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Mixing Warm and Cold Water

Figure from experiment 7 from Physical Science with Vernier


Heat can be defined as energy transferred between matter because of differences in temperature. The ability of matter to transfer heat depends on its mass and temperature. A calorimeter is an instrument used to measure changes in heat energy. You can make a simple calorimeter using a Styrofoam cup to contain water, a beaker for more insulation and support, and a Temperature Probe to measure temperatures. The joule (J) is the SI unit for heat energy. An equation that can be used to calculate change in heat energy is

Cannot create image: H = \Delta t \cdot m \cdot {C_p}

where H = heat absorbed or released (in J), Δt = change in temperature (in °C), m = mass (in g), and Cp = specific heat capacity (4.18 J/g°C for water).


In this experiment, you will

  • Construct and use a simple calorimeter.
  • Measure temperature.
  • Mix cold and warm water.
  • Determine heat lost by cooling water.
  • Determine heat gained by warming water.
  • Compare heat lost by cooling water and heat gained by warming water.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Physical Science with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Temperature Probe Response Time
2Boiling Temperature of Water
3Freezing and Melting of Water
4Evaporation of Alcohols
5Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
6Neutralization Reactions
7Mixing Warm and Cold Water
8Heat of Fusion
9Energy Content of Fuels
10Energy Content of Foods
11Absorption of Radiant Energy
12An Insulated Cola Bottle
13A Good Sock
14Insolation Angle
15Solar Homes and Heat Sinks
16Conducting Solutions
17Conductivity of Saltwater: The Effect of Concentration
18Acid Strengths
19Frictional Forces
20First-Class Levers
22An Inclined Plane
23Reflectivity of Light
24Polarizing Light
25How Bright is the Light?
26Electromagnets: Winding Things Up
27Magnetic Field Explorations
28Household Acids and Bases
29Acid Rain
30Gas Pressure and Volume
31Gas Temperature and Pressure
32Fun with Pressure
33Lemon "Juice"
34Simple Circuits
35Graphing Your Motion
36Speeding Up
37It's Race Day
38Crash Lesson
39Newton's Second Law
40Falling Objects

Experiment 7 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physical Science with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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Dev Reference: VST0247

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