Why is water typically used ias the heat-absorbing liquid in calorimeters?
because water has a very high specific heat capacity compared to most liquids
Water (H2O) comes in three different physical states; liquid, solid and gas. Water vapor is water in a gaseous state. Water vapor can be produced from the evaporation or boiling of liquid water or through the sublimation of ice. Typically water vapor is constantly being created by evaporation. Unlike the solid or liquid state of water, water vapor is not visible to the human eye.
A calorimeter is a device used for calorimetry, the science of measuring the heat of chemical reactions or physical changes as well as heat capacity. The word calorimeter is derived from the Latin word calore, meaning heat. Differential scanning calorimeters, isothermal microcalorimeters, titration calorimeters and accelerated rate calorimeters are among the most common types. A simple calorimeter just consists of a thermometer attached to a metal container full of water suspended above a combustion chamber.
Typically, the solid phase of a substance is denser than its liquid phase, because higher molecular energy makes the liquid molecules take up more volume for a given mass. An important exception is solid water (ice) which takes on a lattice molecular shape and expands when it freezes, so ice is less dense and floats on liquid water.
Condensation is the conversion of a gas to a liquid. This requires a loss of energy, typically in the form of heat. The classic example is water in the air condensing on a cold glass of water. When the gas form of water contacts the cold surface of the glass it losses energy and the water molecules pull closer together (condense) and change to its liquid form. This concept applies to any substance which changes…
If a liquid does not mix with water and you pour a little water on the liquid, then if the water sinks, the water has a higher density than the liquid; otherwise, the liquid has a higher density. If a drop of the water dissolves in the liquid, then you weigh an equal volume of both liquids. The heavier one has the higher density.