The Absolute Thermopower of Lead

  • R. B. Roberts


The absolute thermopower of lead has been calculated from the results1 of direct measurement of its Thomson heat, μ, in the range from 10 to 350 K. The values for μ agree with those from the superconducting thermocouple experiment of Christian, Jan, Pearson and Templeton2 from 10 to 17 K, and with those from the indirect measurements of Borelius, Keesom, Johansson and Linde3 from about 80 to 300 K. From 17 to 80 K, however, the disagreement with the values used by Christian et al. 2 in constructing their absolute scale of thermoelectricity leads to a change in the scale of about 0.3 μV/K from 30 to 300 K. The abrupt nature of the change near 20 K makes a great difference to the shape of the calculated thermopowers of metals whose thermopowers are small (~ 1 μV/K). For example, the thermopowers of lead and the noble metals can be fitted to equations of the form S = aT + b/T from just above the phonon drag peak to about the Debye θ. This paper will be concerned with the Thomson heat experiment, the validity of the new scale for thermoelectricity, and plans for extending the scale to 1000°C.


Thermal Conductivity Absolute Scale Lead Wire Silver Gold Thermocouple Measurement 
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  1. 1.
    R.B. Roberts, Nature 265 226–27 (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J.W. Christian, J.P. Jan, W.P. Pearson and I.M. Templeton,Proc. R. Soc. A 245, 213–221 (1958).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    G. Borelius, W.H. Keesom, C.H. Johansson, and J.O. Linde, Proc. Acad. Sci. Amst. 35, 10–14 (1932).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R.B. Roberts, Phil. Mag. (in press).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.S. Crisp and J. Rungis, Phil. Mag. 22, 217–36 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.National Measurement LaboratoryCSIROSydneyAustralia

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