Q:

How does the liquid in a glass thermometer work?

A:

Quick Answer

The liquid in a glass thermometer, either colored alcohol or mercury, expands as it heats and condenses as it cools. In a thermometer, the liquid cannot expand outward and the only place it can go is up or down. Temperature on a glass thermometer can be measured in Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin.

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Full Answer

Once a thermometer is built and filled with liquid, numbers are printed, usually along the outside. These numbers make it easy to determine the temperature of a person, home or even the outdoors.

Thermometers that do not use liquid use a spring mechanism that expands as it heats and contracts as it cools.

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Related Questions

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    What is the red liquid in a thermometer?

    A:

    The red liquid inside of a thermometer is alcohol. When the temperature changes, the alcohol expands, providing a reading based on the thermometer's scale. Red dye is used to color the clear alcohol so that someone is able to easily read the thermometer.

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    How can you tell if a thermostat contains mercury?

    A:

    After removing the cover plate, if a clear glass ampoule with a silver liquid inside is visible in a thermostat, the unit contains mercury. If it is a new thermostat still in the packaging, look for the chemical sign for mercury, which is "Hg," on the container.

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    A thermometer is usually calibrated using two approaches: the ice point method and the boiling point method. This temperature measuring device must be calibrated daily if repeatedly used. Otherwise, a thermometer should be adjusted prior to its initial usage, when switching from one temperature to another or every time it is dropped.

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    What is a clinical thermometer?

    A:

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