Chemistry » Thermochemistry » Calorimetry

Summarizing Calorimetry

Key Concepts and Summary

Calorimetry is used to measure the amount of thermal energy transferred in a chemical or physical process. This requires careful measurement of the temperature change that occurs during the process and the masses of the system and surroundings. These measured quantities are then used to compute the amount of heat produced or consumed in the process using known mathematical relations.

Calorimeters are designed to minimize energy exchange between the system being studied and its surroundings. They range from simple coffee cup calorimeters used by introductory chemistry students to sophisticated bomb calorimeters used to determine the energy content of food.


bomb calorimeter

device designed to measure the energy change for processes occurring under conditions of constant volume; commonly used for reactions involving solid and gaseous reactants or products


device used to measure the amount of heat absorbed or released in a chemical or physical process


process of measuring the amount of heat involved in a chemical or physical process

nutritional calorie (Calorie)

unit used for quantifying energy provided by digestion of foods, defined as 1000 cal or 1 kcal


all matter other than the system being studied


portion of matter undergoing a chemical or physical change being studied

[Attributions and Licenses]

This is a lesson from the tutorial, Thermochemistry and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

Log In

Share Thoughts