After one defines 0th law of thermodynamics w/ thermal equilibrium using temperature. Then a quantitative description of temperature can be made. We can measure temperature by finding another property which changes monotonically with temperature.

In my textbook " concept of physics by HC verma" on pg.2, He states that we measure temperature as a function of the height of a mercury column and he assumes the temperature as a linear relation which is:

$$t=al+b $$ ( where t is temperature, l is length and 'a' and 'b' are some constants)

And then he states that change of one degree in temperature will mean a change in $\frac{l_2 - l_1}{t_2 - t_1}$ in the length of the mercury column

I can not understand the second statement...

I know that slope of $ \frac{\Delta t}{\Delta l} = a$ but how does this relate to change in one degree of temperature?


1 Answer 1


Given the linear relation you can subtract the relations for a temperature difference of 1, namely: $$(t+1)-t=\left(al_f+b\right)-\left(al_i+b\right)\\ \Rightarrow 1=a\Delta l\\ \Rightarrow \Delta l=\frac{1}{a}$$

  • $\begingroup$ Isn't the book sort of like poorly phrasing this or is it just me $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2020 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Unless the author uses the length scaling in this particular form later on, yes. It’s a pretty convoluted way of saying that the length scales linearly with T. I mean that’s what the original line equation says. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2020 at 15:33

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