Heat Engine/Gas Law Apparatus

SKU: TD-8572A Category:



An affordable, general-purpose apparatus for quantitative experiments involving the Ideal Gas Law and for investigations of a working heat engine.

Features a nearly friction-free piston/cylinder system. The 32.5 mm diameter graphite piston fits snugly into a precision-ground Pyrex® cylinder so that the system produces almost friction-free motion of 10 cm and minimal leakage.

How It Works:

Heat Engine Doing Work:

When the air chamber is moved from the
cold bath to the hot bath, the piston moves up and lifts the 200-gram mass. When
the chamber is moved back to the cold bath, external air enters the chamber
through a one-way intake valve. Repeating the cycle causes the mass to continue
to rise.

Ideal Gas Law:

Place the heat engine on its side
so the weight of the piston becomes negligible. Submerge the air chamber in the
cold bath and let it equilibrate. Quickly shift the chamber to the hot bath and
watch the piston move up the cylinder. The Pressure Sensor shows that the
pressure remains constant while the volume increases.


  • Heat Engine
  • Air Chamber with Rubber Stoppers
  • Plastic Tubing with Quick Connect Fittings


  • Air Chamber — Immerse in hot or cold water. All necessary tubing is included
  • Quick-Connect Ports — Two ports connect to the air chamber tubing or to a Low Pressure Sensor
  • Ultra-Low-Friction Graphite Piston
  • Millimeter Scale — Measures piston displacement
  • Locking Screw — Secures piston in any position for fixed volume
  • Mass Platform — Add a mass to do work experiments
  • Precision-bore Pyrex Cylinder — Inside a Protective Plastic Shield
  • Two Port Shut-off Valves
  • Rod Clamp Mount — Mount engine on a rod stand


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