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An Inexpensive Solution Calorimeter

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Journal of Chemical Education Volume 85, Number 8, ISSN 0021-9584


We describe the construction of a simple solution calorimeter, using a miniature bead thermistor as a temperature-sensing element. This has a response time of a few seconds and made it possible to carry out a thermometric reaction in under a minute, which led to minimal heat losses. Small temperature changes of 1 K associated with enthalpies of solution or enthalpies of neutralization can be measured with accuracy better than 1%. The degree of accuracy depended on how many measurements were made and gave the student an opportunity to think about different sources of error. (Contains 1 figure.)


Kavanagh, E., Mindel, S., Robertson, G. & Hughes, D.E.P. (2008). An Inexpensive Solution Calorimeter. Journal of Chemical Education, 85(8), 1129-1130. Retrieved June 7, 2023 from .

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