The Galileo thermometer (named after the famous Italian physicist Galileo Galilei) is a thermometer made of a sealed glass cylinder containing a clear liquid and a series of sealed glass bulbs with different denisities, and as such they rise or fall as the temperature changes.
As the liquid in the cylinder changes temperature, its density changes and the bulbs are free to move – either by rising or falling. If the bulbs differ in density by a very small amount and are ordered such that the least dense is at the top and densest at the bottom, they can form a temperature scale.
The temperature is typically read from an engraved metal disc on each bulb. Usually a gap separates the top group of bulbs from the bottom group of bulbs, meaning the temperature would be between the tag readings on either side of the gap. If a bulb is free-floating in the gap, then its tag reading would be closest to the ambient temperature.
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