The bathythermograph, or BT, also known as the Mechanical Bathythermograph, or MBT; is a small torpedo-shaped device that holds a temperature sensor and a transducer to detect changes in water temperature versus depth down to a depth of approximately 285 meters (935 feet). Lowered by a small winch on the ship into the water, the BT records pressure and temperature changes on a coated glass slide as it is dropped nearly freely through the water. While the instrument is being dropped, the wire is paid out until it reaches a predetermined depth, then a brake is applied and the BT is drawn back to the surface. Because the pressure is a function of depth (see Pascals law), temperature measurements can be correlated with the depth at which they are recorded.
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