Joules of energy

In the 1840s, James Prescott Joule, an English scientist, developed an apparatus (image below), which consisted of weights that were connected to a pulley that rotated paddles in a vessel full of water. As the weights fell the paddles would rotate and this would increase the motion in the water, therefore increase the temperature. Joules could measure that amount of energy put into the system because he could measure the distance the weights fell, this figure as well as the weight would give the Potential Energy lost. Joules found that when the weight fell by a certain distance this would always
generate the same amount of heat.

This means that Heat is a form of energy.

Our version of Joule’s Experiment

We have produced our version of Joule’s experiment, we measuring the temperature (19.6 °C) of a small amount of water in a sealed bottle. We shook the bottle for one minute therefore increaseing the motion in the water and then measured the temperature (20.8°C) afterwards. There is a 1.2°C increase in temperature.

We carried out this experiment several times and found that the average increase in temperature was 1°C. This shows that the energy of staking a bottle for 1 minute increases the temperature by ~ 1°C.


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