Ranjit K. Verma*, John O. Hill, Lauri Niinistö, S. C. Mojumdar, David Devraj Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Characterization of materials in terms of changes in their thermo-physical properties is an indispensable part of materials science and engineering (MSE) instruction and hence knowledge of thermodynamics and calorimetry are essential components of materials science courses. Calorimetry has a rich history dating from 1870 with evolution of the Bunsen ice calorimeter and was enriched further with the invention of the Berthelot combustion calorimeter (1881), the Junkers flow calorimeter (1895), the Bronsted solution calorimeter (1906), the Perrier and Roux differential scanning calorimeter (1923) and the Becker and Kiefer titration calorimeter (1969). Calorimetry has a wide and diverse application range in the chemical, bio-chemical and materials science and, in conjunction with thermal analysis, constitutes the analytical arm of the thermal sciences. Up to the 1960's, calorimetry was largely confined to the measurement of fundamental thermodynamic quantities with the tabulation of key thermodynamic data for chemical compounds and mixtures. From 1960, it became apparent that with the development of commercial calorimeters and later, digital data analysis systems, calorimetry experienced a resurgence of interest and the application range expanded, particularly to define the thermochemistry of inorganic compounds, polymers and biological (model) systems. However, calorimetry has always been regarded as a highly specialist technique and thus, education in calorimetry has been limited both in scope and intensity with the result that the bulk of calorimetry practitioners are 'users' rather than 'specialists'. This paper is a companion to a similar one on 'education in thermal analysis' prepared by the ICTAC Education Committee and proposes a curriculum framework for education in calorimetry which has both (traditional) components of 'theory' and 'practice' included. Many of the calorimetry examples cited here date from the 1960's, corresponding to the resurgence period of the component techniques and hence the proposed curriculum emphasises the rich history of calorimetry development over the last half century as well as revealing the diversity of its applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-174
    Number of pages14
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Education in calorimetry
    • curriculum framework
    • ICTAC Education Committee
    • bomb calorimetry
    • solution calorimetry
    • titration calorimetry
    • flow calorimetry
    • differential scanning calorimetry

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