How Do We Tell Temperature?

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How Do We Tell Temperature?

We have a lot of confidence that we measure temperature accurately. But how do thermometers in the kitchen or doctor’s office work? Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, thermometers respond to heat moving from hot to cold as a means of measuring temperature. Clever physical chemists and engineers have taken temperature tools from the simple, but still useful, lined glass thermometers to digital readouts. And you might be surprised to find out how Einstein took thermometers the distance.

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Fever Guidelines

Galileo Project (Rice Univ.) – Thermometer

EPA – Mercury in your thermometer
EPA – Mercury – Health Effects
NIST – phasing out mercury thermometer calibration

Galilean Thermometer not so Galilean (interesting, but also corroborates the event of Galileo’s invention of the thermoscope around the start of the 17th century)

Bimetallic thermometers

thermocouples [deleted content]


IR semiconductor sensors

IR planet measurement

“Experiments in Physical Chemistry”, 6th edition. David P. Shoemaker, Carl W. Garland, Joseph W. Nibler. McGraw-Hill, 1996.
Chapter 18 “Temperature” and Chapter 19 “Instruments”

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