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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe several different types of thermometers
  • Convert temperatures between the Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin scales

Any physical property that depends consistently and reproducibly on temperature can be used as the basis of a thermometer. For example, volume increases with temperature for most substances. This property is the basis for the common alcohol thermometer and the original mercury thermometers. Other properties used to measure temperature include electrical resistance, color, and the emission of infrared radiation ( [link] ).

Figure a is a photograph of an alcohol in glass thermometer. Figure b shows a strip with six squares. Each square is labeled with a temperature in degree Celsius from 35 to 40 and the corresponding temperature in degree Farhenheit. It has the words forehead temperature indicator. Figure c is the photograph of a person holding a pyrometer close to a ventilation system outlet.
Because many physical properties depend on temperature, the variety of thermometers is remarkable. (a) In this common type of thermometer, the alcohol, containing a red dye, expands more rapidly than the glass encasing it. When the thermometer’s temperature increases, the liquid from the bulb is forced into the narrow tube, producing a large change in the length of the column for a small change in temperature. (b) Each of the six squares on this plastic (liquid crystal) thermometer contains a film of a different heat-sensitive liquid crystal material. Below 95 ° F , all six squares are black. When the plastic thermometer is exposed to a temperature of 95 ° F , the first liquid crystal square changes color. When the temperature reaches above 96.8 ° F , the second liquid crystal square also changes color, and so forth. (c) A firefighter uses a pyrometer to check the temperature of an aircraft carrier’s ventilation system. The pyrometer measures infrared radiation (whose emission varies with temperature) from the vent and quickly produces a temperature readout. Infrared thermometers are also frequently used to measure body temperature by gently placing them in the ear canal. Such thermometers are more accurate than the alcohol thermometers placed under the tongue or in the armpit. (credit b: modification of work by Tess Watson; credit c: modification of work by Lamel J. Hinton)

Thermometers measure temperature according to well-defined scales of measurement. The three most common temperature scales are Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Temperature scales are created by identifying two reproducible temperatures. The freezing and boiling temperatures of water at standard atmospheric pressure are commonly used.

On the Celsius scale    , the freezing point of water is 0 ° C and the boiling point is 100 ° C . The unit of temperature on this scale is the degree Celsius     ( ° C ) . The Fahrenheit scale    (still the most frequently used for common purposes in the United States) has the freezing point of water at 32 ° F and the boiling point at 212 ° F . Its unit is the degree Fahrenheit    ( ° F ). You can see that 100 Celsius degrees span the same range as 180 Fahrenheit degrees. Thus, a temperature difference of one degree on the Celsius scale is 1.8 times as large as a difference of one degree on the Fahrenheit scale, or Δ T F = 9 5 Δ T C .

The definition of temperature in terms of molecular motion suggests that there should be a lowest possible temperature, where the average kinetic energy of molecules is zero (or the minimum allowed by quantum mechanics). Experiments confirm the existence of such a temperature, called absolute zero    . An absolute temperature scale    is one whose zero point is absolute zero. Such scales are convenient in science because several physical quantities, such as the volume of an ideal gas, are directly related to absolute temperature.

Questions & Answers

two point charges +30c and +10c are separated by a distance of 80cm,compute the electric intensity and force on a +5×10^-6c charge place midway between the charges
Tijani Reply
what is the difference between temperature and heat
Ishom Reply
Heat is the condition or quality of being hot While Temperature is ameasure of cold or heat, often measurable with a thermometer
Abdul
Temperature is the one of heat indicators of materials that can be measured with thermometers, and Heat is the quantity of calor content in material that can be measured with calorimetry.
Gamma
2. A brass rod of length 50cm and diameter 3mm is joined to a steel rod of the same length and diameter. What is the change in length of the combined rod at 250°c( degree Celsius) if the original length are 40°c(degree Celsius) is there at thermal stress developed at the junction? The end of the rod are free to expand (coefficient of linear expansion of brass = 2.0×10^-5, steel=1.2×10^-5k^1)
TONEJIT Reply
A charge insulator can be discharged by passing it just above a flame. Explain.
Mudassar Reply
of the three vectors in the equation F=qv×b which pairs are always at right angles?
DRASHTI Reply
what is an ideal gas?
Justine Reply
What is meant by zero Kelvin ?
Justine
Why does water cool when put in the pot ?
Justine
when we pour the water in a vessel(pot) the hot body(water) loses its heat to the surrounding in order to maintain thermal equilibrium.Thus,water cools.
rupendra
when we drop water in the pot, the pot body loses heat to surrounded in order to maintain thermal equilibrium thus,water cool.
Srabon
types of thermometer?
yemisi Reply
thermometer, Radiation thermometer and vapour pressure thermometer.liquid thermometer use thermometric liquid like mercury ,alcohol etc.
rupendra
liqid thermometer ,gas thermometer, resitance thermometer,thermo electric thermometer , radiation thermometer andvapour pressure thermometer
rupendra
calculate the quantity of heat required to rise the temperature of 1gmail of ice _10 to 110
Dargu Reply
A 40cm tall glass is filled with water to a depth of 30cm. A.what is the gauge pressure at the bottom of the glass? B.what is the absolute pressure at the bottom of the glass?
Abdulaziz Reply
A glass bottle full of mercury has mass 50g when heated through 35degree, 2.43g of mercury was expelled. Calculate the mass of the mercury remaining in the bottle
Anjorin Reply
Two electric point charges Q=2micro coulomb are fixed in space a distance 2.0cm apart. calculate the electric potential at the point p located a distance d/2 above the central point between two charges
Abdul Reply
what is wave
Ahmed Reply
A wave is a periodic disturbance which travel with a finite velocity and remains unchanged in type as it travels.
Justine
What's a wave motion?
Justine
What is charge bodies
Oje Reply
which have free elections
Usman
Show that if a vector is gradient of a scaler function then its line around a closed path is zero
Pak
Charge bodies are those which have free electons
Pak
the melting point of gold is 1064degree cencius and is boiling point is 2660 degree cenciu
Ilyas Reply
is Thomas's young experiment interference experiment or diffraction experiment or both
Ilyas Reply
An aqueous solution is prepared by diluting 3.30 mL acetone (d = 0.789 g/mL) with water to a final volume of 75.0 mL. The density of the solution is 0.993 g/mL. What is the molarity, molality and mole fraction of acetone in this solution?
eugene
A 4.0kg mess kit sliding on a fractionless surface explodes into two 2.0 kg parts.3.0 m/s due to north and 0.5 m/s 30 degree north of east. what is the speed of the mess kit
Shahid
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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