System vs. Surroundings with a Calorimeter
Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:34 pm
In a perfect system, qsys + qsurr = 0. If a reaction is taking place inside a calorimeter, is qcalorimeter the equivalent of qsurr? Or is the calorimeter also part of the system?
Re: System vs. Surroundings with a Calorimeter
Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:04 am
It depends on the question because these allocations are relative. Generally, if we are measuring the heat of the reaction as the qsys, and we measure that as a change in temperature of the calorimeter, then qcalorimeter = qsurr because the calorimeter is acquiring the heat energy. However, we can also expand our perspective and look at the calorimeter as the system if we are measuring the change in temperature of the room in which we have placed the calorimeter. In that case, qcalorimeter = qsys and qroom = qsurr.