Specific Heat of Gases

Faculty Sponsor

Stan Zygmunt


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


The purpose of this project is to measure the specific heat capacities of monatomic and diatomic gases (specifically helium and nitrogen) at constant volume, in order to compare these values with predictions made for ideal gases. Equipment utilized includes a Styrofoam container, a resistor to transfer thermal energy to the gas, and a thermocouple in order to measure the temperature as a function of time for the gas as it absorbs heat. From the slope of the T(t) graph, the specific heat capacity can be determined. Error corrections include accounting for thermal energy losses through the walls of the container as well as the heating of the resistor and the thermocouple.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Name: Sarah Bradash

Year: Senior

My background in chemistry and physics dates back to the fall of 2012 (introductory high school chemistry).which provided introduction to thermodynamics, expanded upon throughout my collegiate studies. My project involves experimentally solving for specific heat of monatomic and diatomic gases, which was one of my favourite topics to study. In terms of my future academic pursuits, I plan on studying either particle or nuclear physics with a focus on collider experimentation.

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