AQA GCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

5.1.2 Required Practical: Investigating Temperature Changes

Required Practical 4: Investigating Temperature Changes

To perform a calorimetry study of the reaction between HCl and NaOH

The temperature change will vary depending on the amounts of solutions involved


  • Dilute hydrochloric acid
  • Dilute sodium hydroxide solution
  • Styrofoam (polystyrene) calorimeter & lid
  • 25 cm3 measuring cylinder
  • Thermometer & stirrer

Calorimeter - Styrofoam Cup, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Diagram showing the apparatus for the calorimetry investigation for displacement, dissolving and neutralisation


  1. Using a measuring cylinder, place 25 cm3 of the NaOH solution into the calorimeter
  2. Measure and record the temperature of the solution
  3. Add 5 cm3 of the dilute HCl and stir
  4. Measure and record the highest temperature reached by the mixture
  5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 increasing the amount of acid added by 5 cm3 each time

Record your results in a suitable table, eg:

Investigating Temperature Changes Table, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Plot a graph of the results and draw a line of best fit, using the graph to determine what volume of acid causes the biggest change in temperature

The larger the difference in the temperature the more energy is absorbed or released

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.

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