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Physics > Mechanical Properties of Fluids > Aneroid Barometer – How Does it Work?
Mechanical Properties of Fluids

Aneroid Barometer – How Does it Work?

Aneroid Barometer

Barometers are very useful devices which help us to predict the weather. You can say it assists us in preparing for the changes in the weather beforehand. Moreover, we can also use mercury or aneroid barometer for detecting any changes in the altitude. It uses the changes that happen in air pressure to do so. For instance, bad weather is indicated by low air pressure.

Similarly, barometers are of different types depending on their characteristics. There are mainly two types of barometer that are mercury and aneroid barometer. Each has its own specifications and works in their own individual manner.

Aneroid Barometer Mechanism

A metal cell which contains a small amount of air or a series of these cells combined together operate the aneroid barometer. When the air pressure increases, the sides of these cells come together quickly. The base of the instrument secures one side.

After that, the other side joins the structure of pulleys and levers to a rotating pointer, which moves over a scale on the face of the instrument. This pointer is generally found in black colour.

aneroid barometer

Moreover, the aneroid barometer comprises of a small capsule which has quite flexible sides. The air has been pumped out of this capsule. Therefore, whenever there is a change in the pressure, the thickness of this capsule changes.

Similarly, whenever there is an increase in the pressure of the atmosphere, the sides of the capsule become compressed. This capsule attaches to a lever which keeps moving the needle as and when the air pressure keeps squeezing the capsule.

This results in registering a higher reading on the scale. These changes are thus magnified by levers and are causes the pointer to move on a dial which is behind the needle. Finally, you will have your weather forecast on a digital read-out device.

Uses of Aneroid Barometer

When we compare the aneroid barometer to a mercury one, we see it has many benefits over it. In other words, it is definitely superior to it.

The first one has to be quick and easy handling. As you know, mercury is quite poisonous, so there is always a risk with it. Thus, it needs special and cautious handling. However, an aneroid barometer does not have mercury, so one can handle it easily.

Moreover, we can carry an aneroid barometer from one place to another easily without any worry of harm to the device.

That is not the case with a mercury barometer. Similarly, an aneroid barometer is smaller and lighter in comparison to a mercury one, so one can transport it in a car or ship or whatever.

Furthermore, we can easily fit it into an aircraft which will help in sustaining the variations and rolls of the aircraft. Whereas, a mercury barometer won’t be able to fit in like this.

Concerns for Aneroid Barometer

While there are numerous benefits of the aneroid barometer, it still has some drawbacks when we compare it to a mercury barometer. Firstly, it is not as accurate when in comparison to a mercury one.

Further, it does serve correctly when one wants a general idea of the altitude or the approaching weather.

However, to get a more accurate result which we need in professional weather forecasting, people prefer mercury barometers only.

Solved Question for You

Question– When was the aneroid barometer invented?

A. 1844
B. 1927
C. 1750
D. 1840

Answer– The correct answer is option A. It was invented in the year 1844 by a French scientist. His name was Lucien Vidi. Slowly and steadily, these barometers replaced the mercury barometers because of their easy functioning.

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