Calorimetry is the study of heat capacity and enthalpy. To do this, a calorimeter is used.
There are two ways in which calorimetry can be used:
To measure heats of reactions, etc the reaction is performed in a calorimeter with a known heat capacity. As the heat capacity of the calorimeter is known, then the energy change of the reaction can be deduced by calculation:
- ΔH = Heat change in reaction (unknown)
- ΔT = Temperature of calorimeter
- c = heat capacity of calorimeter
To measure heat capacity, we must simply alter the knowns and unknowns in the above equation. In this case we do not know the heat capacity, and thus must use a known quantity of energy