PSU Barometer Could Be World’s Tallest

February 12, 2013

Builders of a barometer at Portland State University’s Engineering Building hope it will qualify as the tallest instrument for measuring air pressure in the world.

The barometer in the building’s atrium will have a fluid column of nearly 41 feet. A barometer recognized by Guinness World Records in the 1990s had a 33-foot fluid column.

The Oregonian reports instrument technician Tom Bennett got the idea to re-use 2-inch diameter glass pipe that was available after a chemistry lab was remodeled.

He’s finishing the project this week. The glass pipe is filled with a column of water – not mercury, which was used in early barometers. Bennett expects the barometer will be sensitive enough to measure changes in air pressure caused by simply opening a door in the building.

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