The thermometer is an instrument used to measure the temperature of a body, object, environment or process. Traditionally, Galileo Galilei has been awarded the honor of being the inventor of the first thermometer, back in the year 1592. His invention consisted of a glass sphere with a tube at the top, which was initially filled with water. The mechanism to know the thermal variations was the rise of the water through the tube when the temperature increased, but since it froze when it reached 0 degrees Celsius, it was replaced by alcohol, which does not have these limitations.
From this first and rudimentary method we have evolved to modern and extremely accurate thermometers. Digital, gas, optical or mercury, human beings have always had the need to establish thermal parameters, given their important applications in areas such as medicine.
In the following FastlyHealarticle we are going to give you the definition of an optical thermometer , as well as the main characteristics of the different types of thermometers.
Table of Contents
What is an optical thermometer
The optical thermometer is a device for measuring temperature based on Wien’s law on the distribution of thermal radiation. According to this law, the color of the radiation varies depending on the temperature, so this device compares the color emitted by the surface to be measured with the color emitted by a filament adjusted to a previously calibrated rheostat.
The reflection and transmission of visible light varies according to temperature , so if it is detected it can be related to tissue temperature, that of organic tissues. The collected results can be viewed on a small digital screen.
This is one of the most modern systems to measure temperature, highly appreciated for its precision , however there are other ways to know it, so below we will list some of the most used ways to do it.
Types of thermometers
Main types of thermometers:
- The mercury thermometer is made up of a glass tube with mercury inside, with changes in temperature the volume of mercury also varies, so that this change can be seen on a graduated scale. Despite the great popularity of this method, its manufacture was prohibited both in Europe and in other countries of the world due to the polluting capacity of mercury.
- The bimetallic sheet thermometer is made up of two metal sheets with different and coiled coefficients of expansion, the one with the highest coefficient is left inside.
- The gas thermometer can be both at constant volume and pressure, both ways are very accurate, which is why they are often used as a way to calibrate other thermometers.
- The digital thermometers are the most widespread medical level, hospitals and individuals, operation of transducer devices, then by electronic devices become numbers on a screen the measured temperature in degrees.
- The resistance thermometer is based on a wire -mainly made of platinum- that changes its electrical resistance with thermal variations.
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