11 Types of Thermometers and Their Functions - YaleTools (2023)

In general, a thermometer is a type of measuring instrument used to determine the temperature of a body and an object. In a sense, it is used to see how hot or how cold the body or the object is.

Apart from being used to measure the temperature of objects, some thermometers are used to measure room temperature, fuel, and as an indicator of heat in certain tools. The thermometer that is often encountered by the public is a digital thermometer as a medical device.

In a thermometer, there are generally lines that are equipped with numbers as a scale and the main component is a thermometric substance. This thermometric substance will react when it receives hot or cold temperatures so that measurement results can be obtained.

This substance is usually in the form of a liquid, though some are not liquid, depending on the type of thermometer. There are several types of thermometers that have their respective functions. In order not to make the wrong choice when using it, let’s get to know the types of thermometers and their functions.

1. Mercury Thermometer

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A mercury thermometer is a thermometer that uses mercury as a filler. When the hot temperature is absorbed by the mercury, the mercury will expand and begin to rise to a point that indicates the temperature of the object.

However, when the temperature drops, the position of the mercury remains in place. This is because there is a contraction that prevents the mercury from falling. To lower it to its original position, you need to turn it upside down firmly. After returning to its original place, it can be used to measure the temperature of another object.

This thermometer is a thermometer that is often found to determine body temperature during fever. But over time, this thermometer has been replaced by a digital thermometer that is easier to see the measurement results.

However, this thermometer is commonly used for laboratory practical purposes. Because it contains mercury which is one of the dangerous substances, this thermometer is not highly recommended for use. It will be very dangerous if broken.

2. Alcohol Thermometer

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This thermometer is similar to a mercury thermometer, except that the filler in this thermometer is alcohol. Alcohols are more sensitive to temperature changes so that their volume can be clearly seen when reading the measurement results. In addition, this thermometer is safer than the mercury thermometer. This thermometer is also called the minimum thermometer because it can measure low temperatures.

3. Mechanical Bimetal Thermometer

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A mechanical bimetal thermometer is a thermometer that takes advantage of the properties of two metals with different coefficients of expansion. As the name implies, bi means two and metal means metal.

When there is a change in temperature, the two metals will expand and begin to warp. That’s when the needle in the thermometer moves in response to the curvature of the two metals and shows the measured temperature.

The working principle of this thermometer is that when a hot temperature occurs, the bimetal strip will bend towards the metal with a high expansion coefficient or vice versa. This bimetal thermometer is used to measure the temperature of thermostats, ovens, grills, and other industrial tools as an indicator of a heat threshold.

4. Digital Thermometer

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A digital thermometer is a thermometer that is generally used to measure a person’s body temperature by tucking it in the armpit or in the mouth. This thermometer is made of plastic and is shaped like stationery. This thermometer uses an electronic sensor to detect body temperature.

This thermometer is very sensitive to temperature changes and very easy to use. After tucking it in the armpit or mouth, it will pause for a moment before the display on the digital thermometer shows the temperature and is stable at that number.

Its simple use makes this thermometer widely used for health purposes, laboratory purposes, and cooking purposes.

5. Infrared Thermometer

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An infrared thermometer is a thermometer for measuring the temperature of a certain object or body part without touching the object because it uses infrared or laser light.

The way it works is by detecting thermal radiation emitted by objects with infrared light. This type of thermometer has been common recently. It’s used to measure the temperature of a person before they’re entering the crowd to meet health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6. Probe Thermometer

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The probe thermometer is a thermometer that has a tapered sensor tip that is connected by a long cable. The pointed tip is what serves to detect heat. This thermometer is generally used in the health, laboratory, retail, and food fields by dipping the tip of the thermometer to the object. The cable is long enough to allow flexibility in its use.

7. Wall Thermometer

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As the name suggests, this thermometer is hung on the wall of the room. Wall thermometer works to measure room temperature which is usually made of wood equipped with capillary pipes filled with mercury or alcohol.

As with mercury and alcohol thermometers, the liquid in this capillary tube expands when it finds a hot temperature. Wall thermometers are also expressed in Celsius and Fahrenheit units.

8. Resistance Thermometer

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A resistance thermometer is a thermometer that is used to measure extreme temperatures that range between -250oC and 700oC. The way this thermometer works is by recording changes in the resistance of the liquid flowing through a platinum wire wrapped around a glass or ceramic material.

Platinum is used because of its good accuracy and wide temperature range. However, if there is no platinum, it can be replaced with copper or nickel. This thermometer is generally used in the fields of automation and process control.

9. Maximum-Minimum Thermometer (Six Bellani)

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A maximum-minimum thermometer is a thermometer that is used to measure the maximum temperature and minimum temperature of a place within a certain period of time. This thermometer was invented by James Six Bellani, so this thermometer is also called the Six Bellani thermometer.

The working principle is that when the temperature rises, the mercury in the ball will expand and force the narrow part so that it enters the scaled capillary tube.

The mercury tip on the right shows the highest air temperature. Then when the air temperature drops, the mercury column will remain in place because it is held back by a narrow pipe. To make it return to its original position, it is necessary to swing it firmly.

10. Resistor Thermometer

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A resistor thermometer is a thermometer that takes advantage of changes in resistance (resistor) in a conductor due to changes in temperature. This thermometer is made of electronic components with high accuracy. This tool is commonly found in industry which is used to measure the temperature of gas fuel pipes. The price of this thermometer is quite expensive so that it is used only on an industrial scale.

11. Humidity Thermometer

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A humidity thermometer is a thermometer that measures the humidity in the room. This thermometer is equipped with an electronic sensor that can measure room temperature at a certain time. So the temperature value on this thermometer varies according to changes in room humidity.

This thermometer can be found in a laboratory room or in a home as a home accessory because it is sometimes also equipped with a clock.

Those are the types of thermometers. Each thermometer has its own advantages and disadvantages. After knowing the types of thermometers above, make sure you don’t choose the wrong thermometer again when you want to measure the temperature of an object.

FAQs

What are the functions of thermometer? ›

A thermometer is an instrument that measures temperature. It can measure the temperature of a solid such as food, a liquid such as water, or a gas such as air. The three most common units of measurement for temperature are Celsius, Fahrenheit, and kelvin.

Are there different types of thermometer? ›

In general, there are two types of thermometers. Touch, or contact, thermometers must touch the body in order to measure temperature. Remote, or no contact, thermometers can measure body temperature without touching the skin.

What is thermometer Class 11? ›

Thermometer is an instrument that measures the temperature of a system quantitatively. There are many types of thermometers available for example, liquid in glass thermometer, gas thermometer, resistance thermometer etc.

What are the 6 uses thermometer? ›

Six's maximum and minimum thermometer is a registering thermometer that can record the maximum and minimum temperatures reached over a period of time, for example 24 hours. It is used to record the extremes of temperature at a location, for instance in meteorology and horticulture.

What is class 7 digital thermometer? ›

Digital thermometers contain a small computing mechanism and a resistor. A change in temperature causes the sensor to notice a change in resistance. The computer converts the difference in resistance into a difference in temperature and offers a digital readout in degrees.

What are the types of thermometer Class 7? ›

Different Types Of Thermometers

The Liquid in Glass Thermometer: We have already seen that two types of liquid used for thermometer one is known as alcohol and other is mercury. These liquid are contained in sealed glass tube.

What are the 4 types of thermometers? ›

View types of thermometers at our webstore
  • Probe Thermometers.
  • Infrared Thermometers.
  • K-Type Thermocouples.
  • Temperature Data Loggers.
  • Analogue Thermometers.

What is the main function of infrared thermometer? ›

Infrared (IR) thermometers enable you to measure temperature quickly, at a distance, and without touching the object you're measuring. They are so useful, easy, and even fun to use that they have become as common in kitchens as they have on factory floors.

What is the function of thermometer in laboratory? ›

Laboratory thermometers measure temperature with a high level of precision for applications such as experiment monitoring, instrument calibration, materials testing, and maintaining a sterile work environment.

What is the function and uses of thermometer in laboratory? ›

A laboratory thermometer is used to measure the boiling point and freezing point during science experiments. It is also used to measure the temperature of substances. It measures temperature ranging between -10 degree Celsius and 110 degree Celsius.

What is the most common type of thermometer? ›

Digital. A digital thermometer is the most common type of thermometer and is generally considered to be the safest to use. It is either a traditional stick, or contains a probe on the end that can be scanned across the forehead. Either way, the temperature will be displayed on an easy-to-read screen.

What is the best type thermometer? ›

The best type of thermometer is a digital thermometer, and the rectal temperature will be the most accurate reading for an infant or young child, according to the AAP. The next most accurate method is using a temporal artery thermometer to get a temperature reading on the forehead.

What is the difference between different types of thermometers? ›

Tympanic thermometer readings are typically 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) higher than oral temperature readings. Axillary thermometer readings can be 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) lower than oral temperature readings (and may be the least reliable).

What is the SI unit of temperature class 11? ›

Hence, the SI unit of temperature is kelvin (K).

What is Computer Class 11 short answer? ›

A computer is an electronic device that can be programmed to accept data (input), process it and generate result (output). A computer along with additional hardware and software together is called a computer system.

What is Class 11 thermal conductivity? ›

Thermal conductivity refers to the ability of a given material to conduct/transfer heat. It is generally denoted by the symbol 'k' but can also be denoted by 'λ' and 'κ'. The reciprocal of this quantity is known as thermal resistivity.

What is laboratory 7th thermometer? ›

Laboratory thermometers are designed to measure the temperatures of objects around us and not for measuring human body temperature. The range of a laboratory thermometer is -10°C to 110°C. Hence, it can measure readings even below 0°C till -10°C. It can also measure the temperature of 100°C.

What is a thermometer Class 6? ›

A thermometer is an instrument which is used to measure the temperature of a substance. It is a measure of how excited the molecules of a substance are.

How is a thermometer used Class 5? ›

The temperature of a healthy human body is approximately 37 °C or 98.6 °F. The tip of the thermometer is inserted into the mouth under the tongue or under the armpit for a minute. Then, the number against the point at which the mercury column stops rising further indicates the body temperature of the person.

What is maximum thermometer Class 8? ›

The role of index in minimum and maximum thermometer is to enable to record the maximum day temperature to be read on the scale when the temperature rises during day time. And when the temperature falls at night, index gives the minimum temperature.

What is a thermometer Class 3? ›

A thermometer is a tool that measures temperature — how hot or cold something is. Thermometers are used to see if you have a fever or tell you how cold it is outside.

What is a Type J thermometer? ›

Basic Type K or J Thermometers provide accurate temperatures for a wide range of applications. Pocket-sized thermometers accept Type K or J thermocouples with standard connectors. The temperature range for Type K is -328°—2,498°F (-200°—1,370°C), and Type J is -328°—1,922°F (-200°—1,050°C).

What is Class 5 digital thermometer? ›

Digital thermometers contain a small computing mechanism and a resistor. A change in temperature causes the sensor to notice a change in resistance. The computer converts the difference in resistance into a difference in temperature and offers a digital readout in degrees.

What is a thermometer Class 8? ›

It is basically used to measure the temperature of human body. This thermometer is used to measure the temperature of all things, except the human body. A clinical thermometer has a temperature range of only 35 ºC to 42 °C. A laboratory thermometer has a temperature range of -10 ºC to 110 ºC.

What are the 2 main types of thermometer? ›

Answer: The two types of thermometer are clinical and laboratory thermometers. Clinical thermometer is used to measure body temperature however laboratory thermometer is not used for the purpose of measuring body temperature.

What are the 3 main types of thermometers for food? ›

Types of Food Thermometers
  • Dial Oven-Safe (Bimetal)
  • Digital Instant-Read (Thermistor)
  • Fork.
  • Dial Instant-Read.
15 Jun 2011

What are the 3 types of temperature? ›

Three different scales are commonly used to measure temperature: Fahrenheit (expressed as °F), Celsius (°C), and Kelvin (K).

What are 5 uses of infrared? ›

Application in medicine and wellness:
  • Applications of infrared radiation:
  • Laser applications.
  • Epilation.
  • Tattoo removal.
  • Blue light therapy.
  • Light therapy with daylight lamps.
  • Sunbeds.

What is a thermocouple thermometer? ›

thermocouple, also called thermal junction, thermoelectric thermometer, or thermel, a temperature-measuring device consisting of two wires of different metals joined at each end. One junction is placed where the temperature is to be measured, and the other is kept at a constant lower temperature.

What are 5 uses of infrared waves? ›

Infrared (IR) light is used by electrical heaters, cookers for cooking food, short-range communications like remote controls, optical fibres, security systems and thermal imaging cameras which detect people in the dark.

What is the function of the mercury thermometer? ›

In a mercury thermometer, a glass tube is filled with mercury and a standard temperature scale is marked on the tube. With changes in temperature, the mercury expands and contracts, and the temperature can be read from the scale. Mercury thermometers can be used to determine body, liquid, and vapor temperature.

What type of thermometer is used in the laboratory? ›

Liquid in glass thermometers

A liquid in glass thermometer is the most commonly used temperature measuring device used in laboratories. This thermometer has a glass bulb attached to a sealed glass tube, known as the stem or capillary tube.

What type of thermometer is used for water? ›

Solar Thermometer

… Reads from 0.0-160.0°F and -20-70.0°C with a resolution of 0.1° and an accuracy or ±1°. This thermometer is ideal for measuring temperatures of solutions, water baths, refrigerators, incubators and tanks. Monitors ambient temperature or temperatures of liquids, air/gas and…

What is an example of a thermometer? ›

Thermometers work by measuring the response of a substance to heat and then translating the response into a number that we understand to be temperature. Examples include liquid-in-glass thermometers, spring thermometers, industrial gas thermometers, digital thermometers, and liquid crystal thermometers.

Which thermometer has high accuracy? ›

SPRTs (Standard Platinum Resistance Thermometers) have the highest accuracy of all temperature sensors and can achieve an accuracy of up to ±0.001°C.

What is a medical thermometer? ›

Medical thermometers allow healthcare professionals to provide accurate diagnosis. Temperature can be measured in various locations on the body which maintain a stable temperature. These include oral, axillary(armpit), rectal, tympanic(ear), or temporal(forehead).

How many types measure a temperature? ›

There are three main scales commonly used in the world today to measure temperature: the Fahrenheit (°F) scale, the Celsius (°C) scale, and the Kelvin (K) scale.

Which thermometer is used in hospitals? ›

TRITEMP™ thermometers are an essential piece of equipment in hospitals but they can be used in a wider range of medical settings, including dentists, care homes and doctor surgeries.

How many types of temperature do we have? ›

There are three types of temperature scales commonly used today: Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin. We are used to expressing temperature with degrees Fahrenheit (F). Scientists often use degrees Celsius (C), but the Kelvin (K) is the SI unit for temperature.

What is the use of thermometer Class 5? ›

We know that one of the main uses of the thermometer is to measure the temperature of an object, environment and atmosphere.

What are the main types of temperature? ›

There are three main scales commonly used in the world today to measure temperature: the Fahrenheit (°F) scale, the Celsius (°C) scale, and the Kelvin (K) scale.

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