ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,

Monday word: dewar

dewar (ˈdü-ər) noun

A glass or metal container, with a vacuum-like space between two walls to prevent heat transfer, often used for storing liquefied gases.  Also called a Dewar flask.

The thermos that keeps your coffee hot is a commercial version of the same thing:  a container inside another container, with an evacuated area in between as insulation.  It isn't a total vacuum - the walls of the container probably couldn't stand up to that.

In an MRI machine, the solenoid generating the magnetic field is inside a dewar of liquid helium.

I have a soft spot for dewars:  I used to set up physics lab classes for a living, and one of my first tasks was to fill dewars with liquid nitrogen (for the demos of freezing things and then shattering them).  That was a cool job with lots of toys; I would have stayed longer if it weren't for the mercury spills, rusty cans of benzene, misplaced radioactive sources, and sexual harrassment.  I didn't mind the iguana that sometimes ran loose in the hall.

Etymology:  Late 1800s, named after Sir James Dewar.
Except for similar pronunciation, it has nothing to do with Scotch.
Tags: d, noun, wordsmith: ersatz_read

  • Sunday Word: Cerulean

    cerulean [s uh- roo-lee- uhn] adjective: resembling the blue of the sky; a shade of blue ranging between azure and a darker sky blue…

  • Tuesday word: Proficient

    Thursday, June 6, 2013 Proficient (adjective, noun) pro·fi·cient [pruh-fish-uhnt] adjective 1. well-advanced or competent in any art, science,…

  • Tuesday word: Bourgeois

    Tuesday, July 6, 2021 Bourgeois (noun, adjective) bour·geois [boor-zhwah, boor-zhwah; French boor-zhwa] noun plural bour·geois 1. a member of…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded