SimuLab 5: Galileo's Thermometer - Movie

Due to the small number of particles in our system it would take a very long time for a liquid droplet in a tube to reach thermal equilibrium. To reduce the time of this activity, we will explore a movie of the simulation.


Your objective is to:

Understand the principle of how a thermometer works in terms of molecular motion.

You will be able to:

Explain how a thermometer works in terms of molecular motion.

Explain why the column of liquid goes down as temperature is decreased.

    1. Open SMDPlayer, select Galileo-Thermometer in the IdealGas folder. Press Play.

    The movie pauses at the opening frame and displays the first explanatory caption. In order to better visualize the particles, you can select Edit : Background White. The narrow column on the screen represents our thermometer tube, blue particles represent air molecules, and the green layer represents a liquid droplet.

    2. Press Play to resume the movie. The movie pauses at each explanatory caption. Repeat this step until the end of the movie is reached.

    At a given temperature, the droplet fluctuates around a certain equilibrium position. Each time the temperature drops in our simulation, the equilibrium position of the green layer also drops. Near the end of the movie, we simulate the effect of the thermometer inserted into an extremely hot environment: everything is thrown out of the tube and your thermometer breaks!


Q2.34: Describe the relationship between the height of the gas sample and the temperature. Explain how the thermometer works in terms of molecular motion.