1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Searle's experiment for measuring the thermal conductivity of copper

  1. Oct 24, 2013 #1

    i'm doing my prep for my lab experiment tomorrow and have a few questions about the experiment.

    The schematic is attached.

    My lab script says the following;

    2 questions.

    It says the precise rate of flow of water through the heat exchanger is unnecessary to know. Is this because I will be collecting all the water so will know it's mass?

    What is the purpose of the constant level cistern? I think this might become clearer when I actually see the apparatus but i'd sleep easier tonight knowing that I understand it's purpose.

    Thanks for any help you can give!

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2013 #2

    Philip Wood

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    (1) Yes, but also the instruction is telling you that the experiment will work just as well at higher or lower flow rates (within quite a wide range).

    (2) Although the exact flow rate doesn't matter, you do need it to stay the same once you've set it. If you simply connected the heat exchange pipe to the water tap the flow rate might not stay the same; e.g.. it might be affected by someone else in the lab turning a tap on or off. The constant flow device keeps the flow rate constant because it gives a constant pressure difference between the two ends of the heat exchanger pipe.

    The apparatus in the diagram is exactly the same as the apparatus I used at a school a very long time ago, and it probably hasn't changed since G F C Searle devised it, perhaps a hundred years ago [1905, I believe]. A design classic!
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  4. Oct 24, 2013 #3
    That makes a lot of sense, thanks!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Searle's experiment for measuring the thermal conductivity of copper
  1. Thermal conductivity (Replies: 6)