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Physical Basis of Internal Calorimetry

Naturevolume 168page521 (1951) | Download Citation



THE technique of ‘internal calorimetry’, a development of Gibbs's ‘heated thermocouple’ method1, was devised for the measurement of blood flow in living tissues. The instrument consists of a small constantan filament connected to a source of electrical potential, variable at will. An attached thermocouple records the filament temperature. The energy required to maintain thermal equilibrium with the instrument embedded in the experimental material is recorded electrically. Its relation to blood flow has already been described2; our present concern, however, is with the non-circulatory heat losses from the filament.

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  1. 1

    Gibbs, F. A., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol., N.Y., 31, 141 (1933).

  2. 2

    Grayson, J., J. Physiol., [114, 29P (1951)].

  3. 3

    Carslaw, H. S., “The Mathematical Theory of the Conduction of Heat in Solids” (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1921).

  4. 4

    Read, J. H., and Lloyd, D. M. G., Trans. Farad. Soc., 44, 721 (1948).

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  1. Department of Applied Mathematics, and Department of Physiology, University of Bristol

    • W. CHESTER
    •  & J. GRAYSON


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