Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






A qualitative description of dielectric processes in Pair interactions of polar molecules is presented, discussing such factors as molecular shape and polarizability. The mathematical treatment of these interactions is given, derived from classical electric field theory and statistical mechanics. The dielectric virial equation and the meaning of the dielectric virial coefficients is discussed. Due to the small magnitude of the coefficients, one must make measurements on the gas of the molar volume to one part in 10 4 and of the dielectric constant to one part in 106 to derive values of the second dielectric virial coefficient to within 10%. A general description of the Burnett and modified Burnett expansion techniques is given, with their application to dielectric measurements. A description of the apparatus which has been assembled is given, including the development of an inexpensive pressure measuring system. The electronic methods used for measuring dielectric constants to one part in 106 to 107 are described, along with those for the pressure measuring system. With humble apologies for being less than perfect, but thankful for being no less than human, I dedicate this to all who have cried upon my shoulders, all whose shoulders I have cried upon, and especially VRVA, BSF, EAM and KAMCW.