How do thermometers work particles

What is a thermometer and how does it work?

We have all used a thermometer—to check for a fever, record data during a chemistry lab, or to help us decide how to dress before leaving for school in the morning. Use what you know about the motion and attractions the particles in a liquid have for one another to explain why the levels of alcohol and mercury in the thermometers are different. This student reading is courtesy of ChemMatters, the ACS quarterly magazine division that explores chemistry behind everyday life.

Ask students: That is exactly what the Kelvin scale accomplishes.

how do thermometers work particles

Despite its name, however, a thermometer does not actually record heat, but rather temperature. Keep it in the cold water until the liquid stops moving.

Mercury vs Alcohol Thermometers

Put your thumb or finger on the red bulb and see if the red liquid moves in the thin tube. The thermometer can be used to measure any temperature in a specified range or to indicate only selected temperature values temperature indicators.

The Hot Thermometer illustration should show random circles with more motion lines.

how do thermometers work particles

Developed by Dr. All thermometers work according to the same basic principle: Heat is a little trickier to define. Therefore, heating and cooling them are going to make them move different distances up or down the tube.

how do thermometers work particles

Learn more about ChemMatters, view free online content or subscribe at acs. The most scientific scale in use today is the Kelvin, or absolute, temperature scale.

how do thermometers work particles

They do this by examining the light emitted, and the wavelength at which the most intensity of light is emitted will uniquely determine the temperature: Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Electronic thermometers on the streets often indicate the temperature in partial shade or even in the light sun, which is why they also overstate the value. Learn More.