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Calorimeters measure the heat involved in a chemical rxn or physical process. When a liquid loses or gains energy, its temperature changes. The calorimeter (or the simple one you use in the lab) measures the temperature change for the liquid and the mass to determine the amount of energy lost or gained by the liquid. Part of it works like a hydro flask with an inner and outer section to minimize heat loss, and there is a thermometer and a stirrer. When you measure the temp and take into account the mass and specific heat capacity you can measure heat transfer.
A calorimeter measures the mass of liquid and the temperature change of the liquid to determine the quantity of energy gained or lost. It will usually have an inner and outer vessel to create an insulator and a thermometer and stirrer. The temperature change can be recorded and specific heat capacity can be calculated.
Additionally, a bomb calorimeter is a special type of calorimeter where the volume is held constant, and a reaction occurs in a vessel of water. The temperature of the entire assembly is then monitored, because the heat gained by the surrounding water is equal to the heat released by the reaction.
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