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Homework Help: Expansion of a Thermometer

  1. Nov 24, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    (a) The tube of a mercury thermometer (made of Pyrex glass) has an inside diameter of 0.140 mm. The bulb has a volume of 0.275 cm3. How far will the thread of mercury move when the temperature changes from 10.5 degrees Celsius to 33.0 degrees Celsius?

    (b) Determine a formula for the change in length of the mercury column in terms of relevant variables. Ignore tube volume compared to bulb volume.

    αPYREX = 3 × 10-6 (Degrees Celsius)-1
    βPYREX = 9 × 10-6 (Degrees Celsius)-1
    βMERCURY = 180 × 10-6 (Degrees Celsius)-1

    2. Relevant equations
    (I) ∆V = β(V0)∆T
    (II) ∆L = α(L0)∆T

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I calculated the change in the volume of the bulb via equation I, but I am unsure where to head from here. Without knowing the height of the mercury within the thermometer (save for the temperature intervals), I am unsure of how to find the change in volume of the tube or the change in volume of the mercury itself. Any hints?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
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