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A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure in a certain environment (Wikipedia).
Atmospheric pressure is an indicator of weather. Changes in the atmosphere, including changes in air pressure, affect the weather. Meteorologists use barometers to predict short-term changes in the weather.
There used to be 2 types but now we have 3 types of barometers.
- Aneroid barometer
- Mercury barometer
- And lastly, digital barometer.
Aneroid barometer we as invented in 1844 by Lucien Vidi, a french scientist. Aneroid barometer looks similar to a clock in the sense that it has one hand that moves clockwise or anticlockwise to point to the current number of atmospheres. Each number is tagged with: stormy, rain, change, fair, and dry are often written on the dial face to make it easier for people to interpret the weather.
Mercury barometer, these barometers were replaced by aneroid barometers. It is the oldest form of barometer and it was invented by the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli in 1643.
A mercury barometer is an enclosed glass tube, at the bottom of the tube is a pool of mercury. The mercury rides in the tube as the pressure increases. The tube is marked with a series of measurements that enables observers to know the atmospheric pressure by looking at the number of atmospheres.
Digital barometer is the newly discovered type of barometer. They are quicker and more accurate than others. They can be found in smartphones.
Beyond atmospheric pressure,otherwise called barometric pressure, atmospheric barometer is also used for the following.
- To determine the altitude of a place: if you want to know how far off you are from the earth’s surface, a barometer can help you find out. Say for example you’re in a plane.
- Used in the preparation of barograph: A barograph is a barometer that records the barometric pressure over time in graphical form. This instrument is also used to make a continuous recording of atmospheric pressure. (Wikipedia)
- Used in weather forecast: accidents have been reduced thanks to the ability to forecast weather using tools like barometers. By knowing how the weather will be like, scheduled flights are fixed for the days that have good weather conditions.
- Used in fluid mechanics: barometer is the simplest application of hydrostatic formula, a key equation in fluid mechanics.
- Used in surface weather map analysis: Surface weather analysis is a special type of weather map that provides a view of weather elements i.e. temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness over a geographical area at a specified time based on information from ground-based weather stations.
What other use of barometer do you know besides the aforelisted? You can drop as comment.