Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards
A new type of 3-body calorimeter for measuring absorbed dose produced by ionizing radiation is described in detail. All three bodies rise in temperature during irradiation, and the heat absorbed by the central core is measured by standard means. Only the central core is heated during electrical calibration, but the increased heat losses are compensated by measuring most of the heat lost to the surrounding jacket and automatically adding it to the heat retained by the core. The third body is a massive, thermally-floating shield, whose presence reduces the heat losses during irradiation, with a consequent increase in sensitivity and stability. A mathematical description of the calorimeter behavior is presented, along with a discussion of control and operation technique. In particular, it is shown how this 3-body calorimeter can be calibrated as a 1-body calorimeter, with large heat losses, or as a 2-body calorimeter, in the quasi-adiabatic mode. This calorimeter design decreases the effects of thermal gradients and at the same time provides the means to test for these effects. The results of these tests show that for this particular model, systematic errors caused by thermal gradients, during electrical measurements, are no larger than 0.1 percent. Errors in comparing an electrical run with an irradiation may be somewhat larger because of different temperature gradients within the system. It is also pointed out that the general design of this calorimeter is not restricted to measuring absorbed dose but can be applied to calorimetry in general.
J. Res. Nat. Bur. Stand. Sec. A: Phys. Ch., Vol. 78A, No. 5, p. 595
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