Determining the Temperature-Dependent Characteristic Temperature of Beryllium from Electrical Resistance Measurements

Thomas W. Listerman, Wright State University
Xiao-Li Zhou

Copyright © 1985, American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers. The following article appeared in the American Journal of Physics 53.5, and may be found at


We have developed an intermediate-level laboratory experiment to determine the temperature- dependent characteristic temperature of beryllium. The apparatus used to measure the resistance of a beryllium wire sample between liquid nitrogen and room temperatures was simple. The characteristic temperatures obtained from these data using the Block-Grüneisen model are in reasonable agreement with literature values obtained from resistivity and heat capacity experiments. The experiment introduced students to cryogenic and computer data analysis techniques and forced them to extend their knowledge of the theory of electrical resistance and of characteristic temperatures.