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I can buy a calorimeter for $12.95 here:


or use the styrofoam cup method for our heat transfer lab.

Considering I have three sons who will eventually use this, should I just go ahead and buy the calorimeter or use the cups?  I remember using the cups in chem lab, but cannot remember how I felt about them.

I'm concerned about ease and accuracy here.

Sincerely, Dawn

I think it depends on other experiments you are going to try. What I mean is - for some experiments you will need more or less specialised equipment. When it is necessary (and affordable) - don't hesitate to buy it.

At the same time, there are experiments that can be done with reasonable accuracy with some makeshift equipment. I believe they are worth of doing this way, as it will have additional educational value. You will be able to show that not equipment is important, but the idea and theory (physical or chemical) underlying the experiment.

There is more to it - there is a Polish proverb saying something like 'clay pots are not made by saints' - that's my lame translation, but you should get the idea :)

Just my philosophical $0.02


Brad again. believe it or not, this subject was  next on the list for discussion about another series of tests concerning the verification of a differernce in total power output of 2 test circuits. (again to verify the results of a
multi meter)

Simply, the caloriemeter we created for our test was made from a film canister, styrofoam beads and the probe from the outdoor part of an indoor/outdoor thermometer. The probe was connected in direct contact with a small array of lights(varible resistor/load and heat source), Next, place load into the canister and pack with the beads. And most important, all the tests were performed in a room that maintained a stable and constant temperture.

Since the point of the test was to convert electrical energy into heat  and to record the temperture over time. We next created a "power under the curve" on graph paper and started counting the squares!!!

We performed a total of 3 test which included a calibration test by heating the probe to a certain temp and chart the amount of time it takes to reach room temp. This way we could confirm that the next 2 tests maintain the same rate of "heat decay".

The therory is:  the circuit that produced the most squares on the graph paper. sent the most total power to the load..

My question is does this appear to be a good way to perform this type of test? Any other thoughts you can give are appreciated.

Many Thanks Brad 8) 8) 8)


In this case power seems to be used just for heating, no other effects that can 'eat' the output, thus it should be much more reliable.

Please do not hijack threads started by others (and on other subjects).

Sorry that was not my intention, just thought this was a related subject--nothing more- wont happen again....Still friends?

I will start a new thead concerning caloriemeters
Thanks Brad


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