The principle of the mercurial thermometer is that mercury when heated expands more than glass. If, therefore, a glass-tube having a bulb blown at one end be partially rilled with mercury and immersed in a bath at a higher temperature than its own, the mercury will rise in the tube. If the bath have a lower temperature, the mercury will fall. If the mercury neither rise nor fall we may fairly conclude that the mercury and the bath are each at the same temperature. The essential features of a good thermometer are that it must be easily portable; permanent; always give the same reading when subjected to the same temperature; render it possible for the user to test the correctness of its graduation and determine any errors in its graduation; and be relatively small, so that when placed in contact with a second body the temperature of the second body will not be seriously affected. In making a thermometer which will satisfy these conditions, the peculiar advantages of mercury are that it is easily prepared in a pure state; does not wet glass or stick to it; expands rapidly with changes of temperature, so that its changes in volume are easily read; that to each particular volume corresponds a definite temperature, which is not the case with water; and that it does not freeze except at temperatures comparatively low, and does not boil except at temperatures comparatively high.
Theory of heat
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In the history of science, the theory of heat or mechanical theory of heat was a theory, introduced predominantly in 1824 by the French physicist Sadi Carnot, that heat and mechanical work are equivalent. It is related to the mechanical equivalent of heat. Over the next century, with the introduction of the second law of thermodynamics in 1850 by Rudolf Clausius, this theory evolved into the science of thermodynamics. In 1851, in his "On the Dynamical Theory of Heat", William...