A. J. demonstrates how to make a thermometer from an old pop bottle and some colored water
By
WSAZ-TV
updated 8/10/2004 1:59:58 PM ET 2004-08-10T17:59:58

A thermometer comes in many shapes and sizes. The liquid inside the tube of a thermometer is not water. Water will freeze when the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mercury is a liquid used in some thermometers, but it also freezes in cold weather. Alcohol, the same kind you use to disinfect surfaces, is the most popular liquid used in thermometers.

First a word of warning. Please be careful with the alcohol. Pour slowly and carefully and keep the cap on tightly before and after you use it.

The alcohol expands when it warms. Expands means the liquid swells or spreads out. This will allow the liquid to move up the glass tube of a thermometer. Then when it cools the liquid contracts and moves back down to the base of the thermometer. Contracts means the liquid shrinks.

Temperature can either be described as Fahrenheit or Celsius. When you watch the weather on WSAZ we give you the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. You can change this to Celsius easily by using this equation:

Lets say the temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take your temperature and subtract it to 32: 55-32=23

Then divide it by 1.8: 23/1.8=12.7

That's it!!!! 55 degrees F is also 12.7 degrees C

To get 12.7 degrees C back to degrees F do this:

12.7 x 1.8 = 22.86: Then add 32

22.86 + 32 = 54.86 rounds to 55!!

Try it and then send me an e-mail and tell me how it came out. Take some pictures of you and your Wind Vane and send those as well!

Be sure to check back next week for a new class in A.J's Summer School.

Remember, count on WSAZ's First Warning Weather for comprehensive coverage of severe weather. Subscribe to the WSAZ First Warning Personal Forecast to receive severe weather e-mail alerts on your home and work computers.

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