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Student Question

Secondary I • 2yr.


I have a hard time using a thermometer in the laboratory. Could you please explain how to use it?

Thanks a lot!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Thank you for your question 😉

    Before starting with the technical aspect, it is important to understand how a thermometer works.


    As you can see in the image, a thermometer is composed of two parts. The long one on the left allows you to take the reading with the gradations and the small red part on the right is the place to be submerged in the substance. When this part is put into a hot substance, the liquid in the thermometer expands and rises in the column. On the other hand, if it is in contact with a cold substance, the volume of the substance decreases and the liquid goes down in the column.

    To use the thermometer properly, the red part must be completely submerged in the solution and the measurement must be read at the same height as the liquid level in the thermometer. Otherwise, the measurement will be incorrect.

    If you're having trouble figuring out how much your thermometer's graduations are worth, you need to do a little math. You have to find two divisions, for example 20 ° C and 30 ° C and subtract them, giving 10 ° C. Then, you have to divide this value by the number of gradations that there are between 20 ° C and 30 ° C. For example, if there are 10, then you get 1 ° C per gradation.

    Don't hesitate to let us know if you have any other questions! 😊

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