[wxqc] Mercury Barometer

Karl Uppiano Karl.Uppiano at verizon.net
Wed Dec 17 15:51:47 CST 2008


Oops. Yeah, there's mercury vapor above the column, but not enough to change the column height significantly. I was remembering the decimal point in a different place.
  From: Victor Engel 
  Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 12:15 PM
  To: Discussion of weather data quality issues 
  Subject: Re: [wxqc] Mercury Barometer


  Mercury's vapor pressure has nothing to do with whether the liquid mercury goes to the top of the glass. That is a function almost entirely of the atmospheric pressure outside the barometer.

  Victor


  On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 2:02 PM, Karl Uppiano <Karl.Uppiano at verizon.net> wrote:

    It seems that trivial changes to mercury barometer design could all but eliminate the risk of spillage, and perhaps even eliminate the risk of evaporation into the surrounding air (you would need a bellows to transfer the air pressure to the instrument, but that can be done in a way that would not affect the accuracy). Mercury does have a vapor pressure, which is why it doesn't go clear to the top of the glass.

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Crumly" <jimwc at frontiernet.net>
    To: <paulgrace at lookoutranch.com>; "'Discussion of weather data quality issues'" <wxqc at lists.gladstonefamily.net>
    Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:56 AM 

    Subject: Re: [wxqc] Mercury Barometer



      Paul
      Yes I believe that mercury is toxic. but it also depends on the amount of
      exposure, And if handled properly It is as safe as any other substance.
      Because of ignorance of the toxicity a lot of us handled mercury unsafely
      with no ill effects to ourselves or anyone else.
      Mercury Barometers were what barometric pressure were founded on. so even if
      they are not as accurate as the "hi-tech" solutions.
      They are easily calibrated by straight forward methods.
      Have you checked how much it costs to calibrate any interment to "standard"
      lately. they do go out of calibration and must be "certified" or replaced
      periodically. Sometimes it is cheaper to replace rather than calibrate. I
      know that to replace my console which houses the (non Mercury) barometer
      costs almost $200.00.

      The Mercury Barometer is one of the roots of meteorology, and if we
      understand the risk of such interments and treat them as such they could be
      a good quality check, if you don't have a certified weather station in close
      proximity. Also they are a nice looking weather instrument to hang on the
      wall to show your interest in the weather.

      Jim
      CW4367

      -----Original Message-----
      From: wxqc-bounces at lists.gladstonefamily.net
      [mailto:wxqc-bounces at lists.gladstonefamily.net] On Behalf Of Paul Grace
      Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:00 AM
      To: 'Discussion of weather data quality issues'
      Subject: Re: [wxqc] Mercury Barometer

      So your argument is we should use long-lasting toxic antique solutions
      instead of quantitatively better and non-toxic high-tech replacements,
      because if we use modern high-tech strain gauges, we will be thrown back to
      the stone age?

      Or your argument is that more people die from complications of obesity, so
      let's use antique poison weather meters?

      Or your argument is that most people live a long time, even if exposed to
      mercury, so we should ignore the fact that it does kill some people?

      Or that you were careful about collecting the mercury you carelessly
      spilled, so we should be unconcerned about the idiot that flushed his down
      the toilet?  Or the other idiot that gave it to his 8 year-old to play with,
      who is now on state disability because his brain doesn't work right?

      I don't understand, but I played with mercury, so that explains it.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: wxqc-bounces at lists.gladstonefamily.net
      [mailto:wxqc-bounces at lists.gladstonefamily.net] On Behalf Of Mark Wyman
      Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 6:13
      To: 'Discussion of weather data quality issues'
      Subject: Re: [wxqc] Mercury Barometer

      Yeah, but think of the cool factor of scooping up all of the mercury blobs
      shooting across your floor when the barometer falls off the wall ;-).

      I have a large, heavy container of mercury from just such an event. The
      barometer had a leather bag on the bottom containing the mercury, and it
      went crumbly so when it was hit accidentally it popped. It took a few hours
      scooping up mercury with paper to get the vast majority of it cleaned up.
      *twitch* *twitch*

      Needless to say I didn't drink it, I didn't pour it down the drain, or pour
      it in a child's cereal box. The hype surrounding hazardous materials IS over
      the top. RoHS is only the beginning of sending progress back to the stone
      age by bureaucrats who think they are saving the world, but that is a long
      tiresome argument not for this forum.

      When my parents went to school they passed around mercury in the class,
      played with X-Rays, etc. It is interesting to see how long that generation
      is living in spite of all of this toxic stuff. Probably because it wasn't
      known yet in the state of California, so it wasn't actually toxic yet. More
      people die from obesity and smoking by far I am sure.

      -Mark


      -----Original Message-----
      From: wxqc-bounces at lists.gladstonefamily.net
      [mailto:wxqc-bounces at lists.gladstonefamily.net] On Behalf Of George
      Prevelige
      Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:10 PM
      To: wxqc at lists.gladstonefamily.net
      Subject: [wxqc] Mercury Barometer

      A.J., you're a hoot.

      "...tree huggers have done us in, folks. The cancer is metastatic. But we
      let it happen."

      What are you, some sort of 90 year old crackpot?

      Sensible? You dummies used to think you'd be safe from an atomic bomb if you
      ducked under your school desk.

      Aneroid barometers are more accurate, less bulky and much less poisonous
      than mercury barometers.

      -George


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