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Homework Help: Meteorology atmosphere temp question

  1. Sep 22, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Could a liquid thermometer register a temperature of -273° C when the air temperature
    is actually 500° C ? Where would this happen in the atmosphere, and why ?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I have no idea. If someone could just give some possible tips on what it may be. I'm thinking that it could register a different temperature and it may have something to do with atmospheric pressure.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2012 #2
    Maybe it helps to find the subdivisions of the atmosphere in wikipedia, finding a ...sphere with matching temperatures.

    But the thermometer question is doubtful, as no fluids can reach that temperature. It should have said: Could a [strike]liquid[/strike] thermometer register a temperature of -273° C
  4. Sep 25, 2012 #3
    The intention of the problem (when you look beyond the nonsensical idea of a liquid thermometer measuring a temperature of -273) hinges on the difference between heat and temperature, and how it would present itself at very low pressures.
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