I was doing a science lab and the first part had us combine 100mL of room temperature water with 100mL of hot water, then record the final temperature. Here's the data I got:


It asked us to find the heat capacity of the calorimeter, which is deduced using the following equation:


So after plugging in my data, I get that the heat capacity of the calorimeter is negative.

From what I understand this doesn't make sense since that would mean putting in more energy would lower the temperature. Did I do something wrong in my experiment or is this possible? The calorimeter was made out of styrofoam.

  • $\begingroup$ This data must be somehow corrupted.. maybe experimental devices like thermometers where switched between initial and final readings or <i> maybe final temperature was recorded without proper stirring and not allowing enough time for the the calorimeter to heat up <\i>. $\endgroup$ – ABC Aug 29 '17 at 10:21

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