School Science/Making Charles' law tubes

Charles' law tubes allow the demonstration of Charles' law in a school lab.

Heat the tube in boiling water, drying oven or with a hot air gun and place open end in clean mercury. Allow tube and the air in it to cool, drawing a thread of mercury about 5mm long up into the tube. Allow all to cool to room temperature. To move the thread of mercury further down the tube, to ensure it is not expelled when the tube is heated to 100°C during the experiment, pass a short length of nylon fishing line (approx 0.5mm diameter) down the tube and through the mercury. This allows the air below the mercury to leak out around the line and when the mercury has fallen to the required position, remove the nylon line. This should ONLY be done if one has proper safety training regarding the hazards of mercury and the school is equipped with proper mercury spill kits for containing and cleaning any potential spills.

Last modified on 22 March 2010, at 04:30