How does the six's maximum and minimum thermometer help in measuring temperature accurately?

Six’s maximum and the minimum thermometer is mainly used for measuring the maximum and minimum temperature of the particular day.

Apparatus Description:

  • The six’s thermometer consists of a U-shaped capillary tube with the bulbs at both ends
  • The bend of the U shaped-tube is filled with mercury
  • Composition of one of the bulbs is completely alcohol and the other bulb is partly filled with alcohol
  • The tube which is partially filled with alcohol has a little space and is originally vacuum (does not contain alcohol vapour)
  • The expansion and contraction of alcohol in the tube allow the change in temperature that has to be recorded
  • Above the mercury there are two dumbbell-shaped steel indices, that are kept in place by tiny steel springs
  • The two dumbbell-shaped steel indices are used to reset to their initial positions. It is placed just above the mercury with the help of a horse-shoe magnet

Recording of the maximum temperature in the Six’s thermometer:

  • The alcohol in the completely-filled bulb expands and exerts a pressure on the mercury during the day time as there is a rise in temperature
  • The mercury in the bulb moves toward the partly-filled bulb and then pushes up the index in the capillary closer to the partly-filled bulb
  • Hence, the index closer to the partly-filled bulb records the maximum temperature

Recording of the minimum temperature in the Six’s thermometer:

  • The alcohol in the completely-filled bulb contracts due to the fall in temperature at night
  • The mercury in the bulb moves toward the completely-filled bulb and pushes up the index in the capillary closer to the completely-filled bulb
  • Hence, the index closer to the completely-filled bulb records the minimum temperature

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