Laboratory Thermometer

‘Thermo’ stands for hot; hence Thermometer, a device that measures the degree of hotness or coldness. A Laboratory Thermometer is a tool using which one can measure the temperature and to be particular, this thermometer is used to measure temperatures much higher and lower than the human body temperature.


In 1593, Galileo Galilei invented a rudimentary water thermoscope, which allowed temperature variations to be measured for the first time.

Santorio Santorio (1561-1636), an Italian, applied a scale to an air thermoscope around 1612 and thus is thought to be the inventor of the Laboratory Thermometer as a temperature measuring device.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit is considered to be the father of Thermometer. The modern mercury Thermometer was invented by Fahrenheit and is also credited for the invention of the Mercury-in-glass Thermometer.

Let us first see various types of thermometers for reference and then look into the main topic.

Type of Thermometers

Different types of Thermometers are classified according to their needs, and accordingly, the maximum temperature and least count are altered.

There are many types of thermometers.

  1. Clinical Thermometer
  2. Laboratory Thermometer
  3. Digital Thermometer
  4. Infrared (Ear) Thermometer
  5. Mercury Thermometer
  6. Alcohol Glass Thermometer
  7. Constant pressure gas Thermometer
  8. Constant volume Thermometer
  9. Platinum resistance Thermometer
  10. Thermocouple Thermometer
  11. PyrometerThermometer

Here, we discuss Laboratory Thermometer.

Laboratory Thermometer
Lab Thermometer (Source)

A laboratory Thermometer, also known as the lab Thermometer, is used to measure temperatures other than the human body. 

Ranges from \(-10^{\circ}C\) to \(110^{\circ}C\) , and some are made to measure even higher. 

Lab Thermometer, as the name suggests, is designed for lab purposes such as;

  • Checking boiling/freezing point, or 
  • The temperature of other substances. 

How to Read a Thermometer?

  1. Thermometer is washed and brought to normal room temperature.
  2. Make sure the temperature is below \(37^{\circ}C\) or \(98^{\circ}F\) mark.
  3. Place the Thermometer inside the substance of which the temperature is to be measured. 
  4. Wait until there is no sign of the rise of liquid inside the Thermometer, then take the reading.
  5. If possible, do not remove the Thermometer while taking the reading, as it may cause some variations.


Which is the reason for using a temperature probe instead of a simple laboratory Thermometer??

The reason for using a temperature probe is to record continuous measurements over several minutes.

What’s the difference between Laboratory and clinical Thermometers?

Lab Thermometer has a wider range of function and higer least count, i.e. Range: \(-10^{\circ}C\) to \(110^{\circ}C\), Least count: \(1^{\circ}C\).
Clinical Thermometer have a lower range, Range: \(35^{\circ}C\) to \(42^{\circ}C\), Least count: \(0.2^{\circ}C\).

Which thermometer has a higher Range?

Laboratory Thermometer has a higher range.

Who invented the Laboratory Thermometer?

Santorio Santorio is known for the invention of the Laboratory Thermometer.

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