2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Finding thermal conductivity and specific heat via thermal diffusion in rods
Abstract: We present an experiment to measure thermal diffusion in cylindrical rods.  From one measurement, using analytical solutions to simple heat flow equations, we can determine both the thermal conductivity and the heat capacity of the material to within 5% of the accepted values.  A simple circuit controls the energy flowing into the rod via a heater and amplifies the voltages from up to three thermistors to measurable values.  This circuit is controlled by one output and three inputs of a computerized data acquisition system.  This experiment is versatile, and can be expanded in several ways, allowing students to customize their experience in the lab.  Students can modify the lab though advanced electronic circuitry to enhance control of the experiment, through work in the machine shop to produce rods of different sizes, shapes, and materials, through advanced data analysis by incorporating heat losses and finite heater models via numerical solutions of partial differential equations, and through further experimentation in a vacuum.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster
Contributed Paper: Download the Contributed Paper
Session: Session IX - Effective Experiments Poster Session

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Matthew C. Sullivan
Ithaca College, Department of Physics
953 Danby Rd
NY 14850
and Co-Presenter(s)
B. G. Thompson, Ithaca College, Department of Physics;
A. P. Williamson, Martin Fisher School of Physics, Brandeis University