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How Do We Tell Temperature?

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 Chemistry   |   Physics   |   Science
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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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JD Pigs

Producer:
Elaine Seward

Writer:
Darcy Gentleman, Ph.D.
Judith Lavelle

Executive Producer:
Adam Dylewski

Scientific consultants:
Dawn Cross
Darcy Gentleman, Ph.D.
Kyle Nackers

Sources:
Fever Guidelines
https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/air/reporting-deaths-illness/definitions-symptoms-reportable-illnesses.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-fever/basics/art-20056685

http://highschoolenergy.acs.org/content/hsef/en/what-is-energy/thermometers.html

http://theinventors.org/library/inventors/blthermometer.htm

Galileo Project (Rice Univ.) - Thermometer http://galileo.rice.edu/sci/instruments/thermometer.html

EPA - Mercury in your thermometer
https://www.epa.gov/mercury/mercury-thermometers
EPA - Mercury - Health Effects
https://www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury
NIST - phasing out mercury thermometer calibration
https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2011/02/end-era-nist-cease-calibrating-mercury-thermometers

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)
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed200793g

Bimetallic thermometers
http://www.teltru.com/topic.aspx?name=faq

thermocouples [deleted content]
http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/utc/thermocouple/pages/ThermocouplesOperatingPrinciples.html

thermistors
https://www.nist.gov/pml/mercury-thermometer-alternatives-thermistor
http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/data/resistor/thermistor/thermistor.php

IR semiconductor sensors
https://www.noao.edu/meetings/gdw/files/Joyce_IR.pdf

IR planet measurement
https://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience.html

“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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