An instrument for measuring temperature.

Alcohol Thermometer

A liquid-in-glass thermometer containing an alcohol liquid, such as ethanol.

Deformation-Type Thermometer

A thermal sensor with a sensing element that bends or deforms by an amount which is a function of temperature.

Maximum Thermometer

A thermometer designed to automatically register the highest temperature attained during any time interval before it is reset.

Minimum Thermometer

A thermometer designed to automatically register the lowest temperature attained during any time interval before it is set.

Resistance Thermometer

An electrical-type thermometer that utilzes a thermal element consisting of a material whose electrical resistance varies with temperature e.g. Thermistor

Historical Notes

  1. 1592 Thermometer was invented by Galileo. He built a crude thermometer using the contraction of air to draw water up a tube.
  2. 1612 Graduation and inclusion of fixed points was added by Santorre Santorio who used snow and the heat of a candle, dividing the range obtained into degrees. He was the first to put the thermometer to medical use.
  3. 1654 First sealed thermometer was made by Ferdinand II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He filled the bulb and part of the tube with alcohol and then melted the glass tip, thereby sealing the tube.
  4. 1657 Mercurial thermometers were first employed by the Academia del Climento of Florence.
  5. 1665 In England, Boyle, at the request of the Royal Society, made experiments on thermometers, his lectures on cold being published in 1665.
  6. 1694 In 1694 renaldini suggested the boiling-point of water as the upper limit of the scale.
  7. 1706 In 1706 Fahrenheit made improvements to the thermometer.
  8. 1714 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit invents the mercury in glass thermometer. Fahrenheit used three fixed points. He arrived at his zero by taking a mixture of ice water and sal ammoniac; the second point he obtained by mixing ice and water - this point he called 32 degrees, or freezing point, his third mark was blood heat and was obtained by placing the thermometer in the mouth of a healthy man and holding it there until it reached the body temperature. He then divided the distance, between the melting point of ice: 32 degrees and the boiling point of water: 212 degrees, into 180 degree marks.
  9. 1742 Celsius invented his own scale with the boiling point of water at zero and the freezing point of water at 100 degrees, this scale has now been inverted.
  10. 1821 T.J. Seebeck invents the thermocouple.
  11. 1864 Henri Becquerel suggests an optical pyrometer.
  12. 1885 Calender-Van Duesen invented the platinum resistance temperature device.
  13. 1892 Henri-Louis Le Châtelier builds the first optical pyrometer.

See also: Bimetallic Strip, Celsius Temperature Scale, Cryometer, J-Type Thermocouple, K-Type Thermocouple, N-Type Thermocouple, Pyrometer, Temperature, Ttype Thermocouple, Wet Bulb Temperature.

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Subjects: Chemistry Meteorology

Weblinks: The guide for temperature sensors and measurements on the web.