MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: why is a bomb calorimeter better to than a calorimeter?

Date: Tue Mar 27 05:15:40 2001
Posted By: Samuel Silverstein, faculty, physics, Stockholm University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 984746562.Gb


Bomb calorimeters are very useful for measuring the total amount of heat that a material can give off when burned completely. For example, you might want to know exactly how much energy a certain fuel can produce, or the caloric content of some food. Bomb calorimeters can do this with much higher precision than simpler calorimeter designs.

The basic ideas behind bomb calorimetry are:

I found this good lab exercise on bomb calorimetry on the web. It gives a good overview of the subject, and has some nice discussion of the finer points of bomb calorimetry that I haven't gone into.

Good luck!

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