What is a barometer?
Barometers are instruments used to measure atmospheric pressure. Higher atmospheric pressure is generally associated with dry air masses and lower pressure is generally associated with a higher content of moisture in the atmosphere. A rising barometer usually indicates that fair weather is approaching and a falling barometer usually indicates that unsettled weather is approaching.
What is a hygrometer?
Hygrometers are instruments used to measure the amount of humidity in the air. The amount of humidity that air can hold depends on the air temperature. Cooler air holds less moisture and warmer air holds more moisture. The "relative humidity" is the amount of moisture in the air compared to how much moisture it could possibly hold at that temperature. The word "hygrometer" is sometimes confused with the word "hydrometer" (spelled with a "d"), which is an instrument used to measure the density of a liquid.
Who invented barometers?
In 1643 an Italian named Evangelista Torricelli was conducting
vacuum experiments for the astronomer Galileo. He discovered that by using mercury he could create a vacuum in an inverted glass tube and the level of the mercury would rise and fall with the day to day changes in the atmospheric pressure. Early in its history, the barometer was primarily used not to measure air pressure, but to create an alleged vacuum. Torricelli`s concept was developed by British scientist Robert Boyle who realized that
local climatic conditions and air pressure were somehow connected. Boyle is credited with taking the barometer from the experimental apparatus state into the usable domestic version. These stick barometers,
as they came to be called, gained popularity as more attractive designs were developed. This caused them to be considered prized pieces of furniture as well as
useful instruments to measure barometric pressure.
In 1843, a French scientist named Vidie had invented the aneroid barometer, a mechanism consisting of a vacuum chamber being connected by levers to a pointer on a calibrated dial. This meant that barometers immediately became more portable and could be used by scientists and engineers in the field for measuring heights of hills and at
sea for more accurate weather prediction.
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