What is the Mercury Thermometer ?
The mercury thermometer is an instrument commonly used to measure temperature, either on a particular object, surface, or person. It is called a mercury thermometer because it contains liquid mercury inside.
It was invented by the Polish physicist Daniel Fahrenheit in 1714, in Amsterdam. It was Fahrenheit who also developed the thermal scale that bears his last name.
What is the Mercury Thermometer Used for ?
The mercury thermometer is used to measure the temperatures of a selected material, and they are often used in various settings and spaces. Regarding its domestic use, it has become common, and traditional, to determine body and environmental temperature. In addition, it is widely used for medical and educational purposes and even in chemical research, blood banks, ovens and incubators.
Parts of a Mercury Thermometer
The parts of a thermometer are as follows:
The bulb or spherical bulb is the bottom of the thermometer, and it has a spherical shape. This part of the thermometer acts as a reservoir to hold the liquid mercury.
The capillary tube is cylindrical, long, and connected to the bulb. As the temperature rises, the mercury flows to the top of the capillary. The more the mercury moves to the top of the capillary, the higher the measured temperature.
The expansion chamber of a mercury thermometer is located at the top of the capillary. Its function is to form a space through which the mercury can fill if the maximum temperature scale is exceeded.
The scale is made up of a series of lines etched into an area next to the capillary. It is the scale that allows the temperature reading in units of degrees. In this sense, the type of reading unit depends on the thermometer used.
How does the Mercury Thermometer Work ?
It works by placing it on the area or surface to which you want to measure the temperature. The mercury expands according to the pressure generated by the heat, and rises through the tube until it stops at a point on the numerical scale, marking the temperature of the moment.
One of the great advantages of the mercury thermometer is that it measures the temperature correctly regardless of the surface or area on which it is placed.
What Does the Mercury Thermometer Measure ? Unit of measurement
The thermometer shows the actual air temperature, without the measurement being affected by an object in the environment that radiates heat into the environment.
Covers a wide temperature range; from -37 to 356 ° C or from -35 to 673 ° C degrees. The units of measure on everyday thermometers are typically two commonly used temperature scales: degrees Celsius and degrees Fahrenheit. Most countries use the Celsius (degrees centigrade) thermometric scale to measure temperature, although the Fahrenheit scale is used in the United States.
Mercury Thermometer Price
Depending on the use and type of mercury thermometer, prices generally range between $ 3 and $ 15.
How to Read a Mercury Thermometer ?
Reading a mercury thermometer is very easy. Once the device is placed in the area to be measured, wait 3 to 5 minutes, enough time for the mercury to act and indicate the temperature. It is recommended to measure the reading time, to avoid removing the thermometer before having a correct measurement.
After the waiting time has elapsed, the device is removed and the reading is observed on the central line, as this will indicate the degree of heat. For example, in the case of body temperature, a fever is considered to exist when the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celsius.
Oral Mercury Thermometer
This is the name given to the device that is placed in the mouth to measure the temperature, placing the thermometer under the tongue. It is not recommended to take the temperature with a mercury thermometer for babies, or infants, under 10 years of age.
Today, doctors recommend the use of digital thermometers; because they are more practical and eliminate the risk of toxicity associated with being in contact with mercury, in case the device breaks.
The use of the mercury thermometer is not dangerous or harmful in itself, and it is actually more accurate, but if it breaks it becomes a risk to both health and the environment. For this reason, it is essential to know the security measures inherent to its use and the actions to take in the event of its rupture.
Mercury Thermometer: Time
Consensus indicates that to have a reliable measurement of the temperature read by the mercury thermometer, one must remain in contact with the object to be measured for 5 to 8 minutes.
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