Science at Home: Measuring a Thermophysical Property of Water with a Microwave Oven

Published: February 01, 2018


Zachary H. Levine


A measurement of a thermophysical property of water is made using items found in the author's home. Specifically, the ratio of the energy required to heat water from the melting point to boiling to the energy required to completely boil away the water is found to be 5.7. This may be compared to the standard value of 5.5. The close agreement is not representative of the actual uncertainties in this simple experiment. Heating water in a microwave oven can let a student apply the techniques of quantitative science based on questions formed by his or her scientific curiosity.
Citation: The Physics Teacher
Volume: 56
Issue: 2
Pub Type: Journals


science education , latent heat of water , heat capacity of water , microwave oven
Created February 01, 2018, Updated January 17, 2018