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You can use either? Assuming that no heat is lost to the surroundings, the q value should be same whether you calculate heat gained by the calorimeter or heat lost by the system; it really depends on whichever is more convenient for you, and the data given. But you cannot use the heat capacities interchangeably; if you are using the temperature change and molar mass of the system's molecules, you can only use the system's specific heat capacity!
Daria Azizad 1K wrote:The heat released by the chemical reaction will be equal to the heat absorbed by the calorimeter. So,
(mass of calorimeter) x (C of calorimeter) x (change in temp) = (mass of substance) x (Cs) x (change in temp)
For the calorimeter side of this equation, you would not include the mass of the calorimeter. I believe the specific heat for calorimeters do not include mass.
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