Worksheet: Temperature Measurements

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the mechanisms of common temperature gauges and identifying sources of error in temperature measurements.


Analog thermometers often rely on the thermal expansion of a liquid to infer the temperature. Which of the following properties would make a liquid a bad choice for use in a thermometer?

  • ALow reactivity
  • BNonlinear thermal expansion
  • CLow vapor pressure
  • DStrongly colored
  • ELow toxicity


Two containers are initially separated. One contains hot particles, the other contains cold particles. What happens to their temperature when the containers are brought in contact with one another?

  • ATheir temperatures equalize
  • BNothing; their temperatures remain the same
  • CThe hot particles get hotter and the cold particles get colder


A bimetallic thermometer is shown in the figure.

What feature of the bimetallic strip allows it to change shape based on the temperature?

  • AThe thermal expansion coefficients of the two metals are exactly the same.
  • BThe two metals have different thermal expansion coefficients (greater for brass than steel).
  • CCooling makes brass crystalize, contracting more than the steel which does not crystalize.
  • DThe two metals have different thermal expansion coefficients (greater for steel than brass).
  • EHeating builds up a charge between the two metals, which makes them repel one another.


If the weather outside is cold but you do not have a thermometer, which of the following would prove that it is 0C or colder?

  • AWater would condense from the air onto a cold glass.
  • BA glass of water would freeze.
  • CIt would be snowing.
  • DIce would float rather than sink.

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