Types of Thermometers and How To Use Them to Gain Accurate Readings

Types of Thermometers and How To Use Them to Gain Accurate Readings

Section 1: Overview of Thermometer Types

  • Mercury Thermometers: Often used in laboratory settings due to their high degree of accuracy.
  • Alcohol Thermometers: Contain red or blue alcohol, used for measuring lower temperatures due to alcohol’s lower freezing point.
  • Digital Thermometers: Commonly used due to their ease of reading and quick results.
  • Infrared Thermometers: Non-contact devices that measure temperature from a distance, often used in industrial applications.
  • Bimetallic Strip Thermometers: Utilise the expansion and contraction of two different metals to measure temperature, usually used in household appliances.

Section 2: Using Thermometers Accurately

  • For high precision readings, select a thermometer with a small graduation.
  • Ensure the thermometer is clean and in good condition before use.
  • Always read the thermometer at eye level to avoid parallax errors.
  • Allow adequate time for the thermometer to acclimatise to the temperature being measured.

Section 3: Key Tips for Specific Thermometers

  • Mercury Thermometers should be read at the top of the mercury column.
  • For Alcohol Thermometers, ensure entire bulb is submerged in the substance to gain accurate reading.
  • In Digital Thermometers, confirm that the device has been calibrated correctly.
  • Infrared Thermometers should be operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions, considering the distance-to-target size.
  • With Bimetallic Strip Thermometers, ensure the full length of the metal strip is exposed to the temperature to be measured.

Section 4: Potential Errors and Precautions

  • Avoid touching the thermometer stem below the liquid level while taking temperature measurements.
  • Do not use a thermometer beyond its range, which could cause it to break or provide inaccurate readings.
  • Handle Mercury Thermometers with care as mercury is toxic. If one breaks, remediate the area properly.
  • With Digital and Infrared Thermometers, always consider the emissivity of the surface being measured.