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About the Author: livescience


  1. Many construction laser levels use the fact mercury is liquid and conductive in there leveling assemblies. They use mercury vial switches with contacts on each end with a bit of space between the contacts. The gimbal assembly sea-saws back and forth until no contact is made on either end, or atleast minimal contact. This let’s the controller board know that level has been found.

    The downside to this style of vial block is mercury gets sluggish when it’s cold. Older mercury vial block laser have a minim recommend operating temp around 30F.

    Newer lasers use a photo vial block. Laser lights are pulsed in each end of the vial through a partial translucent liquid. When the same amount of laser light makes it through both ends of the vial then it knows it’s level. This fluid is carefully formulated not to slosh too much but not to get too sluggish when cold. This gives those laser an op temp down to bellow 0 F.

  2. I’m a bit confused, what’s charging these dishes of liquid in the first place? Just conductivity doesn’t power a lightbulb, it has to be conducting electricity that’s powered into it, right?

  3. I’m a little surprised tap water doesn’t seem to conduct at all. None of the rest of this seems noteworthy.

  4. Cool! Although mercury shouldn’t be wasted like this and should instead be used for what it’s intended for, for drinking!

  5. So if I have basket full of salt water, I can drop my pc plug in basket and have my infinitive electricity? How can I make infinitive food?

  6. It obviously doesn’t work as well in the salt water because he didn’t wipe it first like he did with the mercury /s

  7. Used to love to play with mercury as kid. I would roll it around in my hand, like the ignorant idiot that I was.

  8. Nice! You’d almost think it was metal or something like they use inside of cords.

    Gonna try to patent me a desk sized mercury charging mat for all your digital goodies.

  9. This showed *exactly* why you don’t want to be caught swimming in a pool of mercury during a lightning storm.

  10. How do people manage no electrocute themselves in bath tubs with toasters and hair dryers if the water is not conductive?

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