Making a thermometer

We can make our own thermometer. The instructions are given in Thermal Expansion #1 "Make your own thermometer" and Thermal Expansion #2 "What part of this system... ".

The air thermometer was one of the earliest kinds of thermometer. To measure a sick person's temperature, there was a version made of glass, with a bulb to put in the mouth. The air thermometer has several advantages: air is cheap and doesn't have any bad properties (unlike mercury, which used to be common in thermometers but really is too poisonous), and it expands more than any liquid or solid. What are the disadvantages of an air thermometer? Why don't we use them more often?

If we wanted a thermometer that made a bigger change with temperature (so that we could detect changes in temperature of a small fraction of a degree), how might we modify the design proposed in the manual?

Check the box when you are done:   Science content: thermal expansion