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HYDROMETER


the plane of flotation, the stability of the instrument when floating will be diminished or destroyed. The'various devices which have been adopted to overcome this difficulty will be described in the account given of the several hydrometers which have been hitherto generally employed. A

The plan commonly adopted to obviate the necessity'of inconveniently long stems is to construct anumber of hydrometers as nearly alike as may be, but to load them differently, sdthat the scale divisions at the bottom of the stem of one hydrometer just overlap those at the top of the stem of the preceding. By this means an set of six hydrometers, each having a stem rather more than 5 in. llong, will be, equivalent to a single hydrometer with a stem of 30 in. But, instead of employing il number of instruments differing only in the weights with which they are loaded, we' may employ the 'same instrument, and alter its weight either by adding mercury ¢or Shot to the interior (if it can be opened) or by attaching weights; to the exterior. These two operations are not quite equivalent, , since a weight added to the interiorldoes not aHect the volume'of liquid displaced when the instrument is immersed up to a given division of the scale, while the addition of weights to the exterior increases the displace# ment. This difficulty may be met, as in Keene's hydrometer, by having all the weights of precisely the same volume but of different masses, and never using the instrument except with one of these weights attached. ' °

The first hydrometer intended for the determination of the densities of liquids, and furnished with a set of weights to be attached when necessary, was that constructed by Mr 'Clarke (instrument-maker)

and described by ]. T. Desaguliers in the Philosophical Transactions for March and April 1730, No. 413, p. 278, The following is Desaguliers's account of the instrument (hg. 2):-

“After having made several fruitless trials with ivory, because it imbibes spirituous liquors, and thereby alters its gravity, 'he (Mr Clarke) at last made 'a co per hydrometer, represented in fig. 2, having a grass wire of about I in. thick rn.

-1

V vfoing throu h Ind soldered into ith c "1

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FIG. 2.-Clarke's

A

1, g, 2 e 'opger

ball Bb. The upper part of this wire is filed at on one side, for the stem of the hydrometer, with a mark at m, to which it sinks exactly in proof spirits. There are two other marks, A and B, at top and bottom of the stem, to show whether the liquor be ihjth above proof (as when it sinks to A), or 15th under proof (as when it emerges to B), when a brass weight such as C has been screwed on to the bottom at 5. There are a great many such weights, of different sizes, and marked to he screwed on instead of C, for liquors that differ morethan #nth from proof, so as to serve for the specific gravities in all such proportions as relate to the mixture of spirituous liquors, in all the variety made use of in trade. There are also other balls for showing the specific gravities quite to common water, which make the instrument perfect in its kind.",

H hydrometer.

('larl;e's hydrometer, as afterwards constructed for the purposes of the excise, was provided with thirty-two weights to adapt it to spirits of different specific gravities, and eleven smaller weights, or “ weather weights ” as they were called, which were attached to the instrument in order to correct for variations of temperature. The weights were adjusted for successive intervals of 5° F., but for degrees intermediate between these no additional correction was applied. The correction for temperature thus ailorded was not sufficiently accurate for excise purposes, and William Speer in his essay on the hydrometer (Tilloch's Phil. Mdg., '1802, vol. xiv) mentions cases in which this imperfect compensation led to the extra duty payable upon spirits which were more than 1021, over proof being demanded on spirits which were purposely diluted to below 10% over proof in order to avoid the chargeQ (flarke's hydrometer, however, remained the standard instrument for excise purposes from 1787 until it was displaced by that of Sikes.

Desaguliers himself constructed a hydrometer of the ordinary type for comparing the specific gravities 'of different kinds of water (Desaguliers's Experimental Philosophy, ii. 234). In order to give great sensibility to the instrument, ~the large glass ball was made nearly 3 in. in diameter, whilel the stem consisted of a wire ro in. in length and onlyqlqyin. in diameter. The instrument weighed 4000 grains, and the addition of a grain caused it to sink through an inch. By altering the quantity of shot in the instrument together with the weights required small balls the instrument could be adapted for liquids other than water,

To:an instrument constructed for the same purpose, but on a still larger scale than that of Desaguliers, A. Deparcieux added a small dish on 'the top of the stem for the reception of the weights necessary toisink the instrument to a convenient depth. The effect of weights placed in such a dish or pan is of course the same as if they were placed within the bulb of the instrument, since they do not alter the volume of that part which is immersed. The first important improvement in the hydrometer after its reinvention by Boyle was introduced by G. D. Fahrenheit, who adopted the second mode of construction above referred to, arranging his instrument so as always to displace the same volume of” liquid, its ' A weight being Varied accordingly. Instead of B a scale, only a single mark is-placed upon the stem, which is very slender, and bears at the top a small scale pan into which weights arc placed until the instrument sinks to the mark G upon its stem. The volume of the displaced liquid being then always the same, its density F F will be proportional to the whole weight supported, that is, to the weight of the ' " FIG. 3.-Nicholto

be placed in the scale pan. Sods Hydrometer Nicholson's hydrometer (1ig.3) combines the characteristics of Fahrenheit's hydrometer and of Boyle's essay instrument? The following is the description given of it by W. Nicholson in the M auchester Illemoirs, ii. 374:~“AA represents a small scale. It may be taken off at D. Diameter 1% in., weight 44 grains.

“ B a stem of hardened steel wire. Diameter ig in. L “ E a hollow copper globe, Diameter 232, in. €Veight with stem 369 gains. N ' 'I

F' a stirru ofiwire screwed to the globe at C. "G 'a smell gcaleg serving likewise as a counterpoise. Diameter 1% in. Weight with stirrup 1634 grains.

“ The other dimensions may be had from the, drawing, which is one-sixth of the linear magnitude of the instrument itself. V, "' In the construction it is assumed that the upper scale shall constantly carr IO00 grains when the lower scale is empty, and the instrument sunl; in distilled water at the tem erature of 60° Fahr, to' the middle of the wireor stem. The length oi) the stem is arbitrary, as is likewise the distance of the lower scale from the surface of the gobe. But, the length of the stem being settled, the lower scale may e made lighter, and, consequently, the globe less, the greater its distance is taken from the surface of the globe; and the contrary." In comparing the densities of different liquids, it is clear that this instrument is precisely equivalent to that of Fahrenheit, and must be employed in the same manner, weights being placed in the top scale only until the hydrometer sinks to the -mark on the wire, when the specific gravity of the liquid will be proportional to the weight of the instrument together with the Weights in the scale.

In the subsequent portion of the paper above referred to, Nicholson explains how 'thedinstrument may be employed as a thermometer, since, fluids generally expanding more than the solidsof which the instrument is constructed, the instrument will sink as the temperature rises.

To determine the density of solids heavier than water witlythis instrument; let the solid be placed in the upper scale pan, and let the weight now required to cause the instrument to sink in distilled water at standard temperature to the mark B be denoted by fw, while W denotes the weight required when the solid is not present.

I'hen W-tv is the weight of the solid. Now let the solid he placed

in the lower pan, care bein taken that no bubbles of air remain atteched to it, end let fw, be time weight now required in the scale pan* 1 his weight will exceed 'w in consequence of the water displaced by; the solid, and the weight of the water thus displaced will be 'wi-Jw, which is therefore the weight of a volume of water equal to that of the solid. Hence, since the weight of the solid itself is W-w, its density must be (W-w)/(w1~w).

The above example illustrates how Nicholson's or Fahrenheit's hydrometer may be employed as a Weighing machine for small weights.

In kill hydrometers in which a part only of the instrument

N1'fI1nIxnn' v Joufnal, vol. i. p. Ill, footnote.