The Role Of The Computer

In some of the early designs for dedicated computers the computer was completely dedicated to the equipment and operated only with programs provided by the instrumentation company. To appreciate the role of the computer, however, it must be noted that it should play three roles.

1. To control the programs that alter the temperature regime.

2. To record the property being measured and demonstrate its variation with the temperature regime.

3. To interface this dedicated computer with computer programs or transfer the data to other computers and allow the operator in charge of the study to manipulate the data and derive appropriate parameters.

In the case of determination of kinetic data from raw experimental data, this usually means feeding such data (e.g., mass and temperature) into a spreadsheet and calculating the preexponential term and the activation energy in the Arrhenius equation.

Most modern dedicated computers fulfill these three roles and allow the operator to manipulate the basic experimental data by using his own spreadsheets or computer programs. It must be noted that instrument manufacturers supply their own programs to make sure that the use of the equipment in industry is made as easy as possible.

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