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# Practical 2: Experimental Determination of γ using Clement and Desormes Method Objective

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To determine the ratio of specific heat of gas at constant volume and temperature.

Introduction
By definition Cv(or Cp) denotes the amount of heat energy which must be absorbed by one mole of a gas at constant volume (or pressure) to raise the temperature of the gas by one degree. The absorbed heat energy causes the molecules to move faster (increase in translational energy), to rotate faster (increase in rotational energy) and to vibrate faster (increase in vibrational energy). Thus the knowledge of heat capacities plays a role in understanding the complexity of gaseous molecules. Unfortunately the easiest method for determining the individual heat capacities of gases is beyond the capability of an undergraduate laboratory. The heat capacity ratio, γ = Cp/Cv, is just as useful in understanding the structure of gaseous molecules and is more accessible experimentally. Clement and Desormes devised a simple method for the determination of the ratio of specific heat of gas, γ. In this experiment, the Clement and Desormes approach will be used to determine the ratio of specific heats of air at constant pressure and constant volume.

Method
The gas is enclosed in a vessel of badly conducting material at a pressure slightly higher than the external atmospheric pressure. The vessel is fitted with a stopcock or tap, giving good communication with the outer air, so that on opening the stopcock the gas undergoes a sudden change of volume, which under the conditions is approximately adiabatic. If the variation in the pressure and volume can be found, then from the relation <PV = constant>, the value of γ can be obtained.

Experimental Apparatus • • • • • A vessel stuffed with badly conducting material fitted with a tap A U-tube manometer Metre Rule Hand-pump Pipe Fig.1 .

Enough time must be allowed for the pressure and level of water in the manometer to be stabilized. Caution is taken when pumping air into the vessel so as the water in the manometer does not overflow. The pressure is awaited to become stable again. Example: the room must be drought so as there is almost no change in temperature which might affect the pressure and hence the experimental values. The hand-pump must be removed as soon as after injecting air to prevent loss of pressure. The readings of the water level in both arms of the manometer are noted. The tap is opened for a very short fraction of time to minimize any heat loss to the surrounding (so as to ensure the quasi-static adiabatic expansion simulation). Precautions: • • • • • • The experiment must be performed in a conditioned room suitable for the success of the experiment. . The experiment is repeated eight times. the pump is immediately disconnected and the apparatus is given some time for the pressure and the meniscus of the manometer to adjust at a stable condition. The height of the water level in both arms of the manometer is read and the values are tabulated.Experimental procedure Procedures: • • • • • • • The initial reading of the water level of both arms of the U-tube manometer is noted. As soon as the required pressure is reached. each time varying the pressure injected into the vessel by the hand-pump. Two white sheets of paper is placed behind the manometer where the level of water is to be read for a better contrast and to avoid parallax error. The tap is opened for a very short fraction of time so as to allow contact with the atmosphere. Then air is pumped into the vessel using the hand-pump until an appreciable difference is noted between the levels of water in the two arms of the manometer.

0 Table 1.6 5.0 14.2 23.5 45.6 7.h1/cm 3.4 Difference in height of water columns.4 24.4 11.1 Height of water column. hB/cm 28.3 42.0 13.5 20.5 17.0 29. Height of water column.4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .0 36.8 24.8 39.5 8.9 31.8 30.5 33.2 18.7 35. hA/cm 25.Experimental results Raw Data: Inserting air inside vessel using pump Experimental No.

0 3.6 25.2 Height of water column.9 28.6 29. hC/cm 26.8 16.9 31.8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Analysis Calculated results: Since water (H2O) is used in this experiment: P0 = Patm = 756mm X Hg = (756mm X 1.h2/cm 0.7 21.9 Difference in height of water columns.2 1.Release of pressure in vessel (letting air out of stopcock) Experimental No.1 Table 1.7 3.5 37.4 5.5 24.36) mm H2O = 1028mm H2O P1/mm logP1 P2/mm logP2 logP0 . Height of water column.7 9. hD/cm 27.3 28.2 25.5 27.4 24.1 5.2 22.8 29.6 28.

093 3.012 3. is found to be 1.034 3.(8) Possible sources of errors: • Insufficient time may have been allowed for steady conditions to be obtained during experimental steps such as pumping of air.012 3.359 ………. 1.3 From the ‘Theory’ section.041 3.144 3.066 3. 1.155 / 6 = 1.526 (excluding 2nd and 3rd readings due to possible errors during measurement) Average = 8. 1. .. 0.012 Table 1.025 3.128 1098 1240 1038 1065 1059 1082 1085 1126 3.106 3.043.012 3. γ. release of pressure.324.052 3.035 3.011 3.the average for the specific heat of air.027 3.317.041 3. 2.588.016 3.071.211.012 3.012 3.024 3. Calculated valuesof γ from table 1.3 : 0. 1.035 3.1058 1394 1084 1098 1163 1206 1277 1342 3.012 3.3 and equation 8.359. 2. γ = log(Po / P1)/log(P2/ P1) = logPo – logP1 log P2 – logP1 Using values from Table 1.706.012 3.

The initial temperature of the gas is T°C.e. There may have changes in temperature while the experiment has been performed.2) (Fig.• • • • There may have been lost of air due to the wearing of the apparatus used for the experiment..(1) where both P1 and Po are measured in newton per square meter. the gas will not drop to atmospheric pressure and the value of γ will be high. The compressed gas in the vessel has to do some work in forcing some of the gas out . i. Heat may have been lost to the surroundings while opening stopcock to release pressure in vessel.. 2) The pressure P1 is measured by the difference in the heights h1 of the two columns of a manometer containing water of density d grams per cubic centimeter so that P1 = Po + h1dg ………. The change in pressure takes place so rapidly that there is no transfer of heat to or from external sources and the expansion is said to be purely adiabatic. Appendices Theory Consider a mass of gas enclosed in a vessel at a pressure P1 which is slightly greater than atmospheric pressure Po(shown below in Fig. Suppose that by momentarily opening a valve the gas is allowed to attain atmospheric pressure Po. The time during which the vessel is kept open to the atmosphere will also affect the results: if the time is too short. if the time is too long. the gas will exchange thermal energy with the air in the room and value of γ will be low. the temperature of the laboratory.

it follows that (V1/V2)γ = (P2/ P1)γ ………. Consequently immediately after closing the valve the temperature of the gas remaining in the vessel is below room temperature. (4). If the gas is now allowed to warm up to room temperature..(3) where γ is the ratio of the specific heats of the gas at constant pressure and constant volume respectively.of the vessel during the expansion. V0. pressure P1 volume V1.(8) If the various pressures do not differ greatly from atmospheric.. intermediate and final volumes of unit mass of the gas in the vessel. Let V1.(6) Thus (P2/ P1)γ = Po / P1 ………. pressure Po volume V0.(2) where h2 is the difference in the heights of the manometer columns. and V2 denote the initial. the pressure and volumes are related by the equation P1V1γ = PoVoγ ……. is adiabatic.(7) or γ = log(Po / P1)/log(P2/ P1) ……….P1) approximately . V1.P1)/(P2 . the relation between the pressures and volumes is given by Boyle’s law. If the expansion from the initial state. V2 in Equations (3) and (4).(4) Now V2 = Vo since there is the same mass of gas in the vessel in the intermediate and final states. To find the relationship existing between γ and the various pressures it is necessary to eliminate the various volumes V0. so that in each case the same mass of gas is considered. Since the gas in the initial and final states is at the same temperature. then the expression for γ may be further simplified which becomes γ = (Po. (3) and the fact that V2 = Vo (V1/V2)γ = Po / P1 ………. the pressure increases to some value p2 given by P2 = Po + h2dg ………. raising both sides of the equation to the same power γ. or P1V1 = P2V2 ………. to the intermediate state. From Eq.(5) From Eq.

The graph below (Fig. It also helps engineers better understand and design diesel or jet or any other engines whereby adiabatic processes take place. . 3) visually explains what happens in the experiment. 3. the expansion is quasi-adiabatic. Fig.In the Clement & Desormes experiment. Applications 1. Thus the initial temperature is equal to the final temperature. The specific heat of a gas is important to the process modeler (the control engineers)for industrial processes. as the heat transfer from external source is very small (for the vessel is a good insulator of heat) and is neglected. 3 Conclusion: From the experimental results. This research also eventually led others to invent the process of photography. 2. it can be deduced that the specific heat ratio of air can be used as an ideal-gas property.

viewed 11 December 2010 http://sargentwelch. Linacre House. B.mu/books?id=jdauwTehZ4C&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=importance+of+specific+heat+of+gas+for+engineers &source=bl&ots=tDm5kKRZaP&sig=in7Hkeclc9JdILooBiUMvOUKEYE&hl=en&ei=D3MITb OIFoG08QPdv9xD&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=o nepage&q&f=false . viewed 13 December 2010 http://www.mu/search?q=clement+and+desormes+experiment&hl=en&client=firefoxa&rls=org. The specific heat ratio also helps engineers solve a number of problems encountered in Thermodynamics (like for isentropic – quasi-static.com/2010/02/clement-desormes-experiment/ Philip Thomas.ca/~tatum/thermod/thermod8.225 Wildwood Avenue.‘Clement and Desormes Experiment’.pdf. MA 01801-2041.asp?ii=505 orca. 2003. Woburn. Bibliography Sargen-Welch Scientific Company.4. 1999.‘Simulation of industrial processes for control engineers’. viewed 13 December 2010 http://blog. ButterworthHeinemann. ‘Selective Experiments in Physics’.google.phys.cencophysics.mozilla:enUS:official&channel=s&prmd=iv&ei=wqYETfv5Fo7m4galuMzRDA&start=0&sa=N. 2010. adiabatic process.com/info. Jordan Hill. viewed 15 December 2010 http://books. Pearson.google. reversible – process).uvic. Oxford OX2 8DP.