Enthalpy Question -- Hess' Law was created because a calorimeter can't be used to measure the enthalpy variation of some reactions?

  • Thread starter Sonim
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Enthalpy , Calorimeter and Hess Law Question Related
First of all this is a question that I had while reading some concepts of my book, so this isn't a homework question. I have started reading the thermochemistry chapter of my book, and it shows the story of Hess' Law and says that it was created is because a calorimeter can't be used to measure the enthalpy variation of too slow reactions, explosive reactions, fast reaction and multi-step reactions. Why can't it be used to calculate the enthalpy variation of fast reactions ?
 
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Actually, I think the opposite. There are ways to delay reactions, so this shouldn't be a problem. Maybe it lies on the fact that fast reactions releases/absorbs heat too fast, which results in the increase of heat flow. However, it shouldn't be a problem too, because the termometer in the calorimeter would release/absorb more heat in less time as well. Have you got any idea?
 
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I agree with you on the fast reactions. However, on very slow reactions, no one has the time to wait days or weeks or years for the reaction to reach equilibrium. But, otherwise, like you, I don't see major problems.
 

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