Image result for styrofoam chemical formula

Polystyrene is the primary chemical in Styrofoam. Expanded polystyrene beads link together in massive chains (the n on the molecule means it can link together hundreds or thousands of times) to create the coffee cups we all use on a regular basis.

Polystyrene is very bio-resistant, and doesn't break down easily. Polystyrene left in soil for 15 to 30 years has been shown to have little structural decay. This is good for some reasons; polystyrene insulation will work well in housing and won't break down easily. It is also very bad for our eco-sustainability, as thousands of pounds of styrofoam trash end up in the ocean and other water bodies. Many governments are making legislation to limit polystyrene usage.

Image result for calorimeterStyrofoam is made by bubbling steam through a setting polystyrene polymer. Air bubbles get trapped within the polymer that don't have much room to move. Without the ability to move, these gas molecules are very resistant to conducting kinetic energy. Heat is transferred very poorly, so Styrofoam is a great insulator. 

For analyzing heat transfers, we use Styrofoam cups so we can measure the heat transferred between substances inside of the cup. This eliminates most of the calculations for heat between the substances and the cup itself. A device used to measure heat flow is called a calorimeter, and can be used to calculate energy flow, enthalpy, and specific heat.

 My Specific Heat Lab

In lab 7, we used Vernier probes to monitor temperature. Publish the results of your trials here by including the following:

1) .cmbl file from Logger Pro of your trial (2 pts)

2) A picture of your Logger Pro heat trial (open the cmbl and clip out a picture using Snipping Tool) (3 pts)

May 14, 2018, 9:04 AM