Thermometer Challenge Glossary

Some of the key terms associated with measuring temperature

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Saturday 21st July 2007
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Physics
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Change of state - Matter changes state when it switches from one physical form to another. A change of state occurs when the atoms that make up the matter either gain or lose enough heat energy to alter their physical form.


Air in the bulb - Referred to as the thermometric medium, i.e. the medium whose property changes with temperature.


Mercury - The element mercury is liquid when it is in the temperature range of -38.9°C to 356.7°C. As a liquid, mercury expands as it gets warmer. Its expansion rate is linear and can be accurately calibrated.


Wheatstone Bridge Circuit - Invented by Charles Wheatstone for measuring resistances.