scientist with beakers
A conductometer, typically a bench or portable electronic device, is laboratory equipment also known as a conductivity meter. It measures the electrical conductivity exhibited by ionically charged solutions. Connected by cable to a single rod or an asterisk-shaped rod made of different materials, this laboratory equipment essentially detects and measures the rate of thermal energy or heat transmitted. This device is often used in experimental and manufacturing applications. Sometimes called a quantitative heat conductometer, it works in many areas of scientific interest where the changing states of liquids are important.
Temperature probes are sometimes placed at specific points to observe minute differences in temperature of a liquid solution being measured. These rods consist of a variety of materials such as copper, aluminum, steel and others. Often featuring a simple control pad and digital readout, a Condometer transmits an electric field between electrodes; it measures the electromagnetic behavior of charged ions in the liquid. Helping to determine chemical changes and other characteristics, the study of these phenomena is known as conductometry.
Ions are electrically charged particles; Simply put, they are atoms or molecules that have gained or lost one or more electrons. This makes your net charges positive or negative. While an ion can refer to a positive or negative particle, an anion is negatively charged and a cation is positively charged.
An electric charge travels between two electrodes of the condometer and creates an electric field. Particles begin to migrate in this field according to their charges. The opposites attract themselves; the anions travel to the anode, or positively charged electrode. Cations rush to the cathode, the negatively charged electrode.
As an aside, the anode and cathode terminals of voltaic cells or storage batteries perform similarly. These, however, are negatively and positively charged, respectively. This may explain some confusion about these terms.
Sometimes the test itself can interfere with what it measures; passing a consistent electrical current through a solution can change its composition. To avoid polarization of the substance and the creation of new layers or other reactions, the condometer applies an alternating voltage through its electrodes. Substance analysis can be conducted with an integrated microprocessor. Occasionally, a cradle will hold a bottle of labware to aid in direct measurements. As an alternative, some bench top units have a spring-loaded or swivel arm similar to a table lamp that allows flexible positioning of the wand over a vial.
Another cylindrical odometer design allows an independent unit to independently float in a solution. Regardless of such design differences, the conductive reading is usually displayed as temperature and range within specified tolerances. A reading is given as a temperature coefficient, which is a type of numerical constant extracted from a measurement property; other indications may include temperature accuracy and resolution.
Typically, a condom can compare specific conductances between different solutions. For example, the conductance of a dilute solution can be compared to a stock solution. This can help recognize factors that change a substance, such as moisture or bacterial growth.
The dissociation, or splitting of atomic particles, essentially turns the liquid into an electrical conductor. This allows studies of resistive capabilities, as well as plotting conductance values on a graph to see how the conductance corresponds to the concentration of the solution. This technology helps determine conductivity in any case where liquid ingredients must be examined. It can assist in monitoring bacterial contamination in milk pasteurization processes, to help determine its expiration date, that short expiration date stamped on milk cartons. Additional uses involve mineral detection and chemical analysis, semiconductor and printed circuit production, as well as pharmaceuticals and more.