Learn more about the thermometer

5 min read
image 'MAG
En savoir plus sur le thermomètre

The thermometer is an instrument for taking temperature widespread in different trades, cooking, industry, medicine, etc. You probably have a medical or room thermometer at home. In short, in general, the majority of human beings are familiar with the thermometer, you are most certainly one of them. The temperature measurement specialists offer you a short course on the definition and history of the thermometer could help you to better understand its usefulness, its operation and its uses. once upon a time… The thermometer.

The great definition of the thermometer

According to the French encyclopedia or dictionary that you are used to consulting, here is what you can find to define the thermometer:

  • According to the Larousse, the definition of the thermometer simply says that it is a device intended for measuring temperatures.
  • Le Robert goes further by giving a more complete definition of the thermometer: the thermometer is an instrument intended for the measurement of temperatures, generally thanks to the expansion of a liquid or a gas, such as the mercury or helium thermometer. . There is also medical thermometer which is intended to indicate body temperature.
  • Wikipedia, which is more of an encyclopedia than a dictionary, offers the following definition of a thermometer: the thermometer, from the ancient Greek thermós (“hot”) and metron (“measurement”), is a device that measures and displays the temperature value. This is the field of study of thermometry. Developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, the thermometer is used in different fields. The applications of professional thermometers are multiple, in meteorology, medicine, in the kitchen, for cooking, for regulating, in industrial processes, outdoor or indoor temperature measurement of factories, etc.

The thermometer definitions are therefore varied according to the point of view from which one places oneself. Experts from Thermometer.co.uk, leader in temperature measurement, present their own definition of a thermometer.

The thermometer is an instrument for measuring and reading the temperature. The temperature measurement and its accuracy, in degrees Celsius or in Fahrenheit, is done via two essential components:

  • a temperature sensor in which a change occurs (in the bulb of a glass mercury thermometer for example),
  • a conversion tool of this change in numerical value (like the scale of a mercury-in-glass thermometer).

The thermometer is used in technology and industry to monitor processes, in meteorology, in the food industry, in medicine and in scientific research. Its use can also be domestic, in particular to check body temperature.

The history of the thermometer

If today the thermometer allows us to know how to dress or cook the Christmas turkey, in theAntiquity its ancestor the thermoscope was already observing temperature variations. In 1592, Galileo worked for example on his own research, thanks to his makeshift thermoscope which contained wine in a sealed glass tube. Depending on the time of day, especially when it was colder, the air took up less space and the level of wine rose. Galileo's thermoscope, based on the principle of Archimedes' thrust and the expansion of matter, was born.

In 1612, Sanctorius was inspired by and diverted the work of his friend Galileo to create the medical thermoscope ; the temperature measurement is the same, except that the patient must put a sealed glass ball in their mouth. Of course, these measurement systems were very inaccurate.

Forty years later, Ferdinando II de' Medici brought ethanol to the thermoscope, which he dyed red to make it visible while remaining faithful to thermoscopes, and graduated the Galilean glass tube, which then allowed the temperature to be quantified. The first thermometer was born.

In 1717, Gabriel Fahrenheit replaced ethanol with mercury and proposed a first temperature scale, replaced almost everywhere in the world by that of the physicist André Celsius in 1742. This temperature scale widely used, you know it for having studied it in college: 100° corresponded to the freezing point of water, and 0° to its boiling point.

Today, scientists from all walks of life have created different models of thermometers (with scale, probe or infrared thermometer or thermometer with laser sighting), some thermometers are digital without contact, others with tips, etc. to meet the needs of individuals and for professionals.

You can follow all the advice of the experts at Thermomètre.fr to choose your thermometer, in particular depending on his characteristics.