COUNTRY SCIENTIST BY FORREST M. MIMS III

The Infrared Thermometer: An Essential Science Gadget

Your Science Tool Kit

If you do casual or even serious amateur science, you might already have some first-class science gadgets in your science tool kit. They might include a computer, a digital camera, and a thermometer. But do you have an infrared (IR) thermometer?

While I’ve spent 20 years measuring sunlight, haze, the ozone layer, and the water vapor layer using various homemade instruments, a couple of IR thermometers are among the most important gadgets in my science toolbox.

IR thermometers allow you to measure the temperature of objects without actually coming in contact with them. This is why they’re called noncontact thermometers. They’re ...

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