Galileo Thermometer

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  • Available in 3 sizes: 28cm, 44cm & 56cm
  • Based on Galileo's discovery in the 17th Century of the relationship between density and buoyancy
  • With each 2°C rise in temperature, a glass ball will fall indicating the surrounding temperature
  • Great gift for science enthusiasts

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Are you a bit of a science geek? The Galileo Thermometer (named after the famous Italian physicist Galileo Galilee) is a thermometer made of a sealed glass cylinder containing a clear liquid and a series of sealed glass bulbs with different densities, that rise or fall as the temperature changes.

As the liquid in the cylinder changes temperature, its density changes and the bulbs are free to move – either by rising or falling. If the bulbs differ in density by a very small amount and are ordered such that the least dense is at the top and densest at the bottom, they can form a temperature scale.

The temperature is typically read from an engraved metal disc on each bulb. Usually a gap separates the top group of bulbs from the bottom group of bulbs, meaning the temperature would be between the tag readings on either side of the gap. If a bulb is free-floating in the gap, then its tag reading would be closest to the ambient temperature.

For outdoor Galileo Thermometers, check out our Hanging Galileo Thermometer for the garden here.


  • Available in 3 sizes!
  • Great gift for science enthusiasts
  • A fun way to teach kids about thermodynamics


  • Dimensions & ball count:
    28cm thermometer: 6 glass balls (temperature range 18°C to 28°C)
    44cm thermometer: 10 glass balls (temperature range 16°C to 34°C)
    56cm thermometer: 11 glass balls (temperature range 16°C to 36°C)

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