Featured in PASCO’s Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide


Features over 30 inquiry based labs covering the core topic areas of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics and more.

Heat of Fusion

Lab Summary

Use a temperature sensor to understand heat as energy and the transfer of heat during the phase change from solid to liquid.


This experiment improves students' understanding of heat as energy and the transfer of heat during phase change from solid to liquid. Students:

  • Enhance their understanding of how heat transfer affects both the temperature and the phase of a substance.
  • Apply the principle of conservation of energy to heat transfer.
  • Understand heat of fusion and how to calculate it from measured values.


Students will gain experience by conducting the following procedures:

  • Measuring changes in temperature.
  • Using the specific heat of a substance, in conjunction with the law of conservation of energy, to calculate the heat of fusion for water.
  • Comparing a value calculated from an experimental procedure to an accepted value in order to critically think about experimental setup, and quantitative and qualitative error analysis.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Absolute Pressure/Temperature Sensor


Designed for ideal gas law allowing both absolute pressure and temperature measurement. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

Materials Used:


Hot plate

Calorimetry cup

Stir station (optional)

Beaker ~ 600 mL

Ice cubes ~ 3 or 4

Paper towel

Stirring rod

Water ~ 300 mL

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Physics Starter Sensor Bundle


A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your physics lab. Also: perform 26 of the 37 Lab Activities from Physics through Inquiry.

Option 2:

Physics Standard Sensor Bundle


Contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Physics through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.