10/25/2014

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World's tallest barometer? PSU has a contender

World's tallest barometer? PSU has a contender

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland is fighting to keep the record for the world's smallest park and now the city may be adding another record to the books - the world's tallest barometer.

Portland State University's Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science has a new barometer that stands nearly 47 feet tall (that's two and a half stories).

Thom Bennett is the instrument technician for the college's Civil Engineering Department and has been working with students over the past couple of years to develop new experiments for their labs.

When he found out that some glass tubes from the chemistry department had been saved after a renovation, he came up with the idea to use them to build a giant pressure gauge.

"I sort of see the barometer as the gateway to science for students," Bennett said. "It's a pretty easy-to-understand instrument and we use it every day with our weather."

It's taken two years of prototypes and construction work to put the barometer together. And now the one-of-a-kind tool will be available for students in science and engineering to experiment with.

Portland State University will be officially unveiling the barometer Thursday at the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at 1930 S.W. Fourth Avenue. There will be demonstrations and other presentations from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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