Medical instrumentation systems


Normal human body temperature, also known as Normothermia or Euthermia, depends upon
 The

place in the body measurement is made,  The time of day.  Level of activity of the person.




There is no single number that represents a normal or healthy temperature for all people under all circumstances.


Mercury Thermometer was invented by physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in Amsterdam (1714).

As the temperature rises, the mercury is pushed up through the constriction by the force of expansion. When the temperature falls, the column of mercury breaks at the constriction and cannot return to the bulb, thus remaining stationary in the tube.
The observer can then read the maximum temperature over the set period of time. To reset the thermometer it must be swung sharply.


There is a risk of injury from cracking glass thermometers if too much force is applied by the teeth to hold them in place. The alcohol or mercury contents are poisonous.


A thermocouple consists of two dissimilar conductors in contact, which produce a voltage when heated. The voltage produced is dependent on the difference of temperature of the junction to other parts of the circuit. Thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensor for measurement and control and can also be used to convert a temperature gradient into electricity.



A Galileo thermometer a thermometer made of a sealed glass cylinder containing a clear liquid and several glass vessels of varying densities. As temperature changes, the individual floats rise or fall proportion to their respective density. It is named after Galileo because he discovered the principle that the density of a liquid changes in proportion to its temperature

The Galilean thermometer works on the principle of buoyancy.
Buoyancy determines whether objects float or sink in a liquid,


A liquid crystal thermometer or plastic strip thermometer is a type of thermometer that contains heat-sensitive liquid crystals in a plastic strip that change color to indicate different temperatures.

Liquid crystals possess the mechanical properties of a liquid, but have the optical properties of a single crystal.
Temperature changes can affect the color of a liquid crystal, which makes them useful for temperature measurement

Liquid crystal thermometers may be used to read body temperature by placing against the forehead.
These are safer than a mercury-in-glass thermometer, and may be advantageous in some patients, but do not always give an exact result, except the analytic liquid crystal thermometer which show the exact temperature between 35.5 to 40.5 Celsius.

Liquid crystal thermometers portray temperatures as colors and can be used to follow temperature changes caused by heat flow. They can be used to observe the heat flow by conduction or by radiation.


It turns out that the eardrum is an extremely accurate point to measure body temperature from because it is recessed inside the head (just like your tongue). The problem with the eardrum is that it is so fragile. You don't want to be touching the eardrum with a thermometer. This makes the detection of the eardrum's temperature a remote sensing problem. it is not very remote -- just a centimeter or so. It turns out that the remote sensing of an object's temperature can be done using its infrared radiation. This technique is a very good way to detect the temperature of a person's eardrum.

Human beings don't have any sensors that can detect subtle differences in infrared, but our skin can detect objects radiating lots of infrared energy. When you warm yourself by standing close to a fire, the "warmth" is infrared energy that you are absorbing. The idea behind the temperature sensor in the ear thermometer is to create a device that is sensitive to very subtle changes in infrared emission. One common sensor is the thermopile, which can be accurate to a tenth of a degree. The thermopile sees the eardrum and measures its infrared emissions. The emission is converted into a temperature and displayed on an LCD.


Balco is a nickel-iron alloy with a thermal conductivity similar to nickel but twice the resistivity. It is used for making low cost resistance temperature sensors. It consists of 70% nickel and 30% iron. Its principal use is for RTDs (resistance temperature detectors). An RTD changes its electrical resistance as a predictable function of temperature, making it useful as a thermometer with electrical output. It is also mechanically strong and fairly corrosion resistant.


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