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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 13 Issue 6 (2008) pp 351-352

The Determination of Absolute Zero: An Accurate and Rapid Method

James Gordon*, Lindsey Williams, Jennifer James, and Ryan Bernard

Division of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science, Central Methodist University, Fayette, MO 65248,
Received February 28, 2008. Accepted June 17, 2008.

Published online: 1 December 2008

Abstract. An accurate and relatively rapid experiment is presented for the determination of absolute zero. In this work, students use calculator-based technology and the appropriate probes to explore the relationship between the temperature and pressure of a gas held at constant volume. In addition to the immediate visualization of the linear relationship between pressure and temperature, students are able to determine the value of absolute zero from the equation for the best-fit line through the data set. The value for absolute zero was determined to be 271 8 oC (n=23) from the most recent set of trials.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (39 KB) HTML format

Issue date: December 1, 2008

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