If you look around your house, you will find lots of different devices whose goal in life is to either detect or measure changes in temperature:
  • The thermometer in the backyard tells you how hot or cold it is outside.
  • The meat and candy thermometers in the kitchen measure food temperatures.
  • The thermometer in the furnace tells it when to turn on and off.
  • The thermometer in the oven lets it keep a set temperature (hot).
  • The thermometer in the refrigerator lets it keep a set temperature (cold).
  • The fever thermometer in the medicine cabinet measures temperature accurately over a very small range.
All of these devices measure temperature in one way or another. In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we will look at the different thermometer technologies used today and understand how they work. You will also get to build your own thermometer!