Why is Mercury Used in Thermometers?

By Esha Dhawan|Updated : August 24th, 2022

A thermometer consists of a long glass tube with a bulb that contains a thermometric liquid to measure the body temperature. Mercury is the thermometric liquid or chemical used in thermometers. Now, the question is, why is Mercury used in thermometers? Firstly, you must know that mercury is in a liquid state at room temperature. Moreover, it has a high coefficient of expansion, which means it expands uniformly when the temperature changes. But that’s not all! Read further to learn more.

Answer:

Mercury is used in thermometers because it expands uniformly, has a high boiling point, and is available in a liquid state at room temperature

Furthermore, mercury has a low specific heat capacity and is a good conductor of heat. All these reasons make it ideal for detecting high temperatures. Lastly, it is opaque and shiny in looks, making it clearly visible in the glass tube of the thermometer.

Summary:

Why is Mercury Used in Thermometers?

Wondering why is mercury used in thermometers? Here’s why:

  • Mercury has a high expansion coefficient which means it expands uniformly when heated.
  • Mercury has a high boiling point and a low freezing point which makes it ideal for detecting high temperatures.
  • Mercury looks shiny and opaque, which makes it clearly visible in the glass tube.
  • Mercury is a good conductor of heat and stays liquid at room temperature.

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