It is important that we express the correct number of significant figures in our calculations. Take the example below.
Work through this sample calculation and post your answer:
In an experiment to determine the specific heat capacity of an oil, the hydrocarbon was:
Heated with an appliance rated 143W ± 1W (P)
The heater supplied energy for 634s ± 1s to the oil (t)
The initial temperature was 25.5 oC ± 0.5 oC and the final temperature was 47.5 o C ± 0.5 oC (T)
The oil had a mass of 581g ± 1g (m)
Calculate the specific heat capacity (c) of the oil using the equation:
c = Pt / m∆T
What value would you give for the uncertainty?