Relaxation calorimetry technique for measuring low
temperature specific heat
W. Newsome, Jr. and E.
of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey
(Received 6 June 2003; accepted 15 October 2003)
A rudimentary calorimeter was constructed to
measure the temperature dependence of the specific heat of
a 10 µ thick (0.62 mg) copolymer film of vinylidene
fluoride and trifluoroethylene in the previously unexplored
vicinity of 6 K. The data were processed with the algorithm
developed by Hwang et al. [Rev. Sci. Instrum. 68, 94
(1997)] as modified for our configuration in which a Cernox
thermometer also served as a heater. The measurements extended from
3.75 to 8.5 K, with a temperature resolution of 0.2 K, and
the ratios of the statistical uncertainties to the mean
values deduced for cp are ± 3% over
most of this temperature range. The data taken with
the intermediate resolution of this calorimeter provides
evidence for the absence of any slowly varying anomaly in
the temperature dependence of cp.
Such rudimentary systems provide a useful option to gather exploratory
information at a comparatively low cost for components. ©2004
American Institute of Physics.