Energy

Energy is the ability to do work. It can be exerted on a system to
produce
a variety of results, as well as stored within a system through
chemical
bonds. Energy can be used or stored but never created or destroyed.
Though
energy cant be created or destroyed, it can be interchanged from one
form
to another as well as dissipate into to the atmosphere as heat (thermal
energy). Energy comes in variety of forms such as electromagnetic,
potential, thermal, kinetic, and can be used and converted from one for
to
another to produce a desired effect.

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Stored energy can be released through chemical reactions such as
combustion. Combustion is an exothermic (releases heat or thermal
energy as
a result of a reaction) reaction that by nature release heat or thermal
energy. The fuel reacts with oxygen to produce a new element and
release
the chemical energy stored in the fuel. The energy released can be
harnessed and used to power machines and other commercial purposes.

The thermal energy released by combustion behaves according to the four
laws of thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics restate the law of
conservation of energy (energy can neither be created or destroyed just
chained from on form to another) as well as define the boundaries of
nature, describing that perpetual motion and absolute zero kelvin
cannot be
reached. The thermal energy also can be defined by the specific heat of
the
surroundings. The specific heat of a substance is its amount of energy
that
1gram of a substance needs to be raised by 1 degree Celsius. This could
be
used to measure the energy output of a substance undergoing combustion
as
well as the original amount of energy stored within the system. In our
experiment we used a rudimentary calorimeter system to measure the
amount
of Joules and Calories stored within a single Pringle. Materials and
Methods Materials: Pringle chips, water, heat souse Methods: The
Pringle
chip was placed in a crucible to be prepared for combustion. 25 grams
of
water was placed above the crucible with the temperature marked off.
The
chip was set on fire and was allowed to heat the water. The end
temperature
was measured and the amount of energy was calculated. The test was
repeated
three times and the different values were recorded. Results Formula q =
C x
mass of H2O x ?T where q is a value in joules or calories (units of
energy)
and C is the heat capacity Test 1 25g H2O heated from the original
temp. of
19.5?°C by the chip resulted in 35?°C 1 x 15.5 ?T x 25g = 387.5 calories
4.184 x 15.5 ?T x 25g = 1621.3 J Test 2 25g H2O heated from the
original
temp. of 23?°C by the chip resulted in 39?°C 1 x 16 ?T x 25g = 400
calories
4.184 x 16 ?T x 25g = 1673.3 J Test 2 25g H2O heated from the original
temp. of 22?°C by the chip resulted in 37?°C 1 x 15?T x 25g = 375
calories
4.184 x 15?T x 25g = 1569 J Test average 387.5 calories 1621.2 J

The results showed that on average there are about 387.5 calories per
chip
(not to be confused with Kilo Calories which are used in commercial
production) that were able to be absorbed by the rudimentary
calorimeter.
Discussion

By the nature of the experimental design the results only provided a
rudimentary demonstration of energy release through combustion and not
an
accurate measure of the calories nor the joules within each chip.
Through
the energy was absorbed by the water the mass of the energy is lost to
the
atmosphere. The huge losses in energy are explainable by the lack of
insulation around the burning chip and the fact that most of the energy
just went around the container of the water without transferring any to
the
water.

A more accurate measurement would have been achieved if a bomb
calorimeter
was used. (figure to the right) The bomb calorimeter would have
incinerated
the chip and accurately display the amount of calories contained within
the
chip. The insulation provided by the calorimeter would have been
sufficient
to capture all of the energy released by combustion.

The results show that per every chip there was roughly a 387.5 calorie
count. This means that per every chip burned the amount of energy
released
heated up 25 grams of water by roughly 15.3?°C. This compared to the
information on the box the 7500 calories actual which resulted in a
pitiful
percent error. 94.8% of the energy that the chip was supposed to give
off
was lost to the atmosphere, proving the inefficiently of the
rudimentary
experimental design.

Overall the experiment provided a theoretical visual of the energy flow
between substances and a way to measure the amount of energy contained
within a system. This proses is applied to food production to give the
consumer accurate information about the food digested. The human
stomach
however is much more efficient then a bomb calorimeter and uses/stores
100%
of the energy consumed.

Works Cited “LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS.” Estrella Mountain Commuity
College.
Web. 16 Mar. 2010.
.
“Specific Heat.” Test Page for Apache Installation. Web. 16 Mar. 2010.
. “What Is
Energy” Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Web. 16 Mar. 2010.
. “What Is
Potential Energy.” TJHSST – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science
and
Technology. Web. 16 Mar. 2010.

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