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