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Thermal Equilibrium Between Two Bodies



The activity aims at making the student realize that:

  • thermal equilibrium is not reached instantaneously;
  • investigating thermal equilibrium between two bodies is easier when they are thermally insulated from the environment;
  • a model of the phenomenon can be constructed using exponential function.

Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827)
French mathematician and astronomer, is one of the most important scientists of the Napoleonic period; its research notably contributed to various fields of Mathematics, but also Astronomy, Thermodynamics and Statistics. He was DíAlembertís scholar and started his career as teacher at the Kingís Military School. Laplace built one of the first ice calorimeters. His work followed that of Johann Karl Wilcke (1732-1796) who defined the calorie and introduced the concept of specific heat. (partly taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)

The experience consists in following the processes of heating and cooling of two objects that exchange heat in an adiabatic container. The two temperature are simultaneously measured as functions of time.

[ Theory  |  Apparatus setup  |  Data acquisition  |   Data sample  |  Data analysis (TI84)  |  Data analysis (MSExcel) |  PDF version of the module |  Evaluation form   |  Teacher's guide  |  Back to Experiments  ]

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