Asked by: Lanfen Gmohling
science physics

What is that silver stuff in a thermometer?

Last Updated: 15th June, 2020

A red liquid in a liquid-in-glass thermometer is mineralspirits or ethanol alcohol mixed with red dye. A grey orsilver liquid inside the thermometer is mercury.

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In this way, is the stuff inside thermometers dangerous?

Mercury can be toxic in certain situations.Mercury is not absorbed through intact skin or from a healthydigestive tract in amounts that would cause toxic effects.Therefore, harmful effects would not be expected fromswallowing or touching the small amount of mercury from a brokenthermometer.

Secondly, what's the red stuff in a thermometer? Silver liquid indicates that the thermometercontains mercury, while red liquid is alcohol to whichred coloring has been added.

Also asked, what is inside of a thermometer?

A thermometer is usually made up of a small,hollow glass tube. At the bottom of the tube is a bulb, which holdsa liquid such as alcohol or mercury. When there is an increase inheat, the liquid inside the bulb expands, pushing up intothe tube.

How do you know if a thermometer has mercury in it?

Mercury is a silver-white to gray substance.If your thermometer is filled with a red liquid, yourthermometer contains red dyed alcohol or mineral spirits andnot mercury.

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How long does mercury stay in the air?

Deposition can occur in as little as five tofourteen days after mercury is emitted to the air, orit can take approximately one year – during which timemercury can reside in the air and be transported fararound the globe.

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How much mercury does it take to kill you?

In fact, renal failure is the main mode of death fororal exposure to liquid mercury, with a lethal dose of 29-50mg Hg/kg.

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Does mercury vapor go away?

Outdoors, mercury vapors tend to go awayquickly, but indoors (particularly with windows closed), mercuryvapors will accumulate in the air. People can absorbmetallic mercury into their bodies when they breathe thevapors.

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Are mercury thermometers red?

Thermometers register temperature. Manythermometers contain mercury, a silver-coloredliquid. Thermometers with a different colored liquid -usually red - contain alcohol, not mercury. Glassthermometers are extremely fragile and can be easily broken,allowing the mercury to escape.

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Is the red liquid in thermometers dangerous?

It's pure alcohol (ethanol), colored with a reddye. It is colored alcohol. No, it is not dangerous since itwould simply evaporate if the thermometer is broken. Isdenatured alcohol dangerous, yes, if you drink enough of it,but the small amount in a thermometer is too miniscule toworry about.

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What are thermometers filled with?

Ethanol-filled thermometers are used inpreference to mercury for meteorological measurements of minimumtemperatures and can be used down to −70 °C (-94 °F).The physical limitation of the ability of a thermometer tomeasure low temperature is the freezing point of the liquidused.

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What is a thermometer made of?

Design. The operating principle of a thermometeris quite simple. A known measure of liquid (mercury, alcohol, or ahydrocarbon-based fluid) is vacuum-sealed in a glass tube. Theliquid expands or contracts when air is heated orcooled.

Silveria Podolov


Can you use a thermometer for water?

Enjoy the perfect bath – Food thermometerscan also be used to test the temperature of your bathwater. The ideal bath water temperature for adults isabout 102° F; three degrees more than the normal bodytemperature. Boiling water (212° F or 100° C) shouldnever be used, as it will burn the drink and yourmouth.

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What is the difference between alcohol and mercury thermometer?

Main DifferenceAlcohol vsMercury Thermometers
A thermometer is a device that is used tomeasure the temperature. The main difference between alcohol andmercury thermometer is that the bulb of mercurythermometer is filled with mercury whereas the bulb ofalcohol thermometer is filled with analcohol.

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Is Mercury magnetic?

At room temperature, the element mercury is notvery magnetic at all. It has a very small, negativemagnetic susceptibility, meaning that when you putmercury in a magnetic field, it magnetizes just alittle tiny bit in the opposite direction. We say thatmercury is a weakly diamagnetic substance at roomtemperature.

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Why is alcohol used in thermometers instead of water?

as the temperature increases the liquid in the bulbexpands and pushes higher into the glass tube. As is cools, itAlcohol thermometers are used rather than mercurythermometers in very cold regions because alcohol hasa lower freezing point than mercury.

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What is red mercury used for?

Red mercury is purportedly a substance ofuncertain composition used in the creation of nuclearweapons, as well as a variety of unrelated weaponssystems.

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How much mercury is considered toxic?

Normal whole blood mercury concentrations areless than 10 mcg/L. Levels greater than or equal to 50 mcg/L areconsidered significant for methylmercury exposure, whereaslevels greater than or equal to 200 mcg/L are consideredsignificant for ionized inorganic mercury,Hg2+.