January 25, 2012

Thermometers For Everyday Use - Understanding Its Different Types

By Ivan Dayrit

A thermometer is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an instrument for measuring temperature. It usually consists of a glass bulb attached to a fine tube of glass with a numbered scale and contains a liquid such as mercury or colored alcohol that is sealed in and rises and falls with changes in temperature. It can be used for various purposes and is essential in different fields of studies worldwide. A number of digital types of thermometers are also available for consumers to choose from and choosing the best one from all the different options can be quite difficult but is possible with a few points to remember.

Through the years, thermometers have been utilized in many different functions. From the simple checking of body temperature which is its original function, its purpose and uses has increased tremendously. Among their many uses these days include scientific experiments to control the temperature as a variable, to see how hot food is, or to measure the weather and wind chill. There are many other ways to use this and it is therefore not surprising that many varieties are also available in the market to choose from.

Specifically, there are sixteen types of thermometer. Generally, though, there are only four types of thermometer that are being employed for everyday use. First among these are outdoor thermometers. Used to measure the temperature of the surrounding air, these thermometers use the expansion and contraction of a liquid to measure temperature. Another commonly used type of these temperature measuring devices is the clinical thermometer. These devices are used to measure the body temperature of a person. These thermometers can either be tympanic where temperature is measured on the ear or oral where the device is kept in the underarm to measure body temperature.

Thirdly is the thermostat which uses expansion and contraction of solids to check temperature. Such is the one used in checking appliance or switch appliances on or off at a preset temperature. Finally is the thermocouple which uses electricity to measure temperature. This on the other hand is popular among individuals who do a lot of temperature measurements in very hot or very low temperature areas such as inside a kiln or blast furnace. It can also be used and connected with a computer easily.

With all the available models and brands of thermometers available for one to choose form, it is no surprise that many find it difficult to choose which one is the best. In choosing, one of the most important points to look at is the devices' accuracy. This is essential especially in scientific fields where nod data is better that wrong data gathered. The speed in collecting and measuring the temperature is another important consideration when choosing. This is important in jobs which time is essential like data gathering and cooking. Other important points to look at include calibration, ease of use, price, sturdiness, timer, and warranty.

Almost all people around the world, no matter the position or title, have in one way or another used a thermometer. Being used from the time of Galileo, this measuring device is a sure must have.

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