pressure sensor

A surprisingly useful sensor which is usually on the expensive side. They come in various ranges and while no single range handles all uses you can settle on a mid course. Some measure air pressure well, some measure very high pressures such as arterial blood pressure. They are good tools for gasometry in chemical reactions as well as showing the relationship between temperature and volume. Some are sensitive enough to monitor the respiration of mealworms and changes in osmotic pressure – in fact these find several uses for biology. Attached to a ‘stethograph’ – a chest belt they can be used to show breathing movements. Pressure sensors are very reliable and some brands warn you to take care not to exceed the sensor’s range – colleague Rod Taylor suggests set ups involving a pressure release valve – a mere balloon attached to a side-arm flask. For everyday convenience, store the sensor with a selection of pressure tubing, bottle tops with delivery tubes, push-on connectors and syringes. 

Use of low pressure sensor

  • Small volume and pressure changes
  • Monitoring fermentation.
  • Respiratory rates – gas exchange/ breathing movements of a locust.
  • Use of gas by rusting nails.
  • Osmosis/diffusion experiments.

I’ve rated these sensors but your assessment will be different. I give a score, out of five, for the sensor’s intrigue, interest, and learning potential. I also give a score for how often a science department might use it.

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