I performed an experiment recently where I tested the specific heat capacity of different metals in water. Once the metals were removed from a beaker and placed into calorimeter with water, thermal equilibrium occurred very quickly. Why is it that thermal equilibrium is achieved so quick when a calorimeter is used?

  • $\begingroup$ I should add that if you repeat the experiment with non metals, they should have the same mass and same shape to the degree possible given the differences in densities. $\endgroup$ – Bob D Oct 24 '18 at 11:48

Its because you were testing metals. They have high thermal conductivity and hence heat transfers through them quickly to the water. Try the experiment with non-metals, e.g., plastics. You'll find it takes longer to reach thermal equilibrium.

Hope this helps

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