You can find a digital thermometer for almost any temperature range these days, from those designed to measure body temperature to those measuring the temperatures in space. These devices have one thing in common—they measure the temperature of something by detecting how much heat it emits.
But how does a digital thermometer measure temperature? Let’s look at how these devices work.
What Are the Parts in a Thermometer?
These usually consist of two main parts: a sensor and a display. The sensor is the part of the device that comes into contact with the object whose temperature you want to measure. This part of the device converts the heat it detects into an electrical signal.
The display is the part of the device that shows you the temperature reading. In a digital thermometer, this part of the device converts the electrical signal from the sensor into a digital reading that you can see on the screen.
How Does the Sensor Work?
The two primary sensors in digital thermometers are resistive and semiconductor sensors. Resistive sensors use a material that changes resistance when heated or cooled.
When the resistive sensor comes into contact with an object, the heat from the object causes the material’s resistance to change. The thermometer then converts this change in resistance into an electrical signal.
Semiconductor sensors use a material that changes conductivity when heated or cooled. When the semiconductor sensor comes into contact with an object, the heat from the object causes the material’s conductivity to change. The thermometer converts this change in conductivity into an electrical signal.
How Does the Display Work?
The display part of a digital thermometer uses this electrical signal to send a digital reading to the screen. The display is usually a liquid crystal display or LCD. This type of display uses an electric current to control the shape of crystals in the liquid.
When the electrical signal from the sensor goes to the display, it causes the crystals in the liquid to change shape. This change in shape produces the temperature transmitter and tells it what temperature to show on the screen.
What Are the Advantages of Digital Thermometers?
Digital thermometers have many advantages over older analog models. One advantage is that digital thermometers are more accurate than analog thermometers. They can also be more precise, measuring temperature to a finer degree.
Another advantage of digital thermometers is that they can be programmed to do more than take a temperature reading. For example, some digital thermometers can take readings at regular intervals. These readings help monitor temperatures over time.
Understanding how it works can help you use one more effectively. It can also help you choose a suitable digital thermometer for your needs. Use this knowledge the next time you need to take a temperature reading.