Pirani gauge

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An instrument used to measure low pressures (1–10−4 torr; 100–0.01 Pa). It consists of an electrically heated filament, which is exposed to the gas whose pressure is to be measured. The extent to which heat is conducted away from the filament depends on the gas pressure, which thus controls its equilibrium temperature. Since the resistance of the filament is dependent on its temperature, the pressure is related to the resistance of the filament. The filament is arranged to be part of a Wheatstone bridge circuit and the pressure is read from a microammeter calibrated in pressure units. As the effect depends on the thermal conductivity of the gas, the calibration has to be made each time the pressure of a different gas is measured.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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