Why is mercury used in thermometers instead of alcohol?

Why is mercury used in thermometers instead of alcohol?

There is a technical reason for using mercury in clinical thermometers. Mercury has a greater coefficient of thermal expansion than alcohol. This means a column of mercury will expand and rise more than a column of alcohol for the same temperature change. As a result, you can get finer readings with mercury.

Is there enough mercury in a thermometer to hurt you?

Mercury is a very toxic or poisonous substance that people can be exposed to in several ways. If it is swallowed, like from a broken thermometer, it mostly passes through your body and very little is absorbed. If you touch it, a small amount may pass through your skin, but not usually enough to harm you.

Why do they use alcohol instead of water in thermometers?

Alcohol thermometers are used rather than mercury thermometers in very cold regions because alcohol has a lower freezing point than mercury. Pure ethanol freezes at -115 degrees C, while mercury freezes at -38 degrees C. Thermometers rely upon thermal expansion of the liquid in a bulb at the base of a thin glass tube.

What do you need to know about mercury thermometers?

Remove the case around the thermometer so that you can see the thermometer’s bulb and vial. To view the temperature-sensing element of a thermostat, lift off the faceplate. Look at the thermometer. If the bulb and vial are filled with a silver, metallic liquid, you have a mercury thermometer 2.

Is it safe to dispose of mercury thermometers?

Get a new, safer type of thermometer and contact your local recycling center to find out how to dispose of your old mercury thermometer safely. These non-mercury fever thermometers are just as good as mercury thermometers and much safer. Mercury is a very dense element that is the only metal to exist as a liquid at room temperature.

What happens when you take the thermometer out of the water?

The levels constantly waver with even minor changes in temperature. This capriciousness is disconcerting, as the reading would immediately change when, say, the thermometer is removed from a pot of boiling water whose temperature we wished to measure. It would then immediately reflect the temperature of its new environment.

Why did Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit use mercury in the thermometer?

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit used alcohol in thermometers in the 1700s. Mercury has a lower coefficient of expansion, compared with alcohol. Thermometers are a useful thing to have in your home. You can use one to detect a fever, and people also often use them in cooking in order to determine if a roast is cooked to the proper temperature.

What does mercury do in a thermometer?

In a mercury thermometer, a glass tube is filled with mercury and a standard temperature scale is marked on the tube. With changes in temperature, the mercury expands and contracts, and the temperature can be read from the scale. Mercury thermometers can be used to determine body, liquid, and vapor temperature.

Why is alcohol used in a thermometer?

Alcohol thermometer uses alcohol as the liquid to measure the temperature variations. Alcohol expands when it absorbs temperature and contract in colder temperatures. Most commonly used alcohol in these is ethanol, but different types of alcohols can be used depending on the measured temperature and environment in which the measurements are taken.

Do candy thermometers contain mercury?

A candy thermometer is a type of large, glass mercury thermometer that measures candy syrups during cooking. It does for sugar what a meat thermometer does for meats, with the only difference being that the candy thermometer can read higher levels of temperature.

Is alcohol in thermometer?

Alcohol thermometer is a type of thermometer that uses a bulb filled with alcohol as the temperature sensor. The liquid inside the bulb can be pure ethanol, toluene , kerosene or any other suitable component depending on the application.