Schematic view of a microcalorimeter

Figure 1 Microcalorimeter schematic. Photons of energy, E, are incident upon a thermal mass of heat capacity C. A thermometer measures the temperature rise of the thermal mass. A thermal link with conductance, G, connects the thermal mass to a heat sink allowing the absorbed energy to leak away with a time constant equal to C/G.

An example of the resolution that can be obtained is shown here

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Dr. Michael Juda
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street, Mail Stop 70
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Ph.: (617) 495-7062
Fax: (617) 495-7356
E-mail: mjuda at cfa dot harvard dot edu