Laser Thermometers – Advantages and Disadvantages

Thermometer technology has improved vastly in recent times. Lately, a new kind of thermometer-the laser thermometer-is becoming much talked about. As the name suggests, this thermometer works on the laser principle. But that’s all most people know about them. Let’s get to know these thermometers in a bit more detail here.

What Are Laser Thermometers?

These are thermometers that work on the principle of laser. When any substance is hot, it radiates this heat from all of its parts. This causes the molecules in this area to vibrate with greater velocity. Laser can measure this increase in velocity, and this is then converted into a temperature reading. This is the reading that a laser thermometer provides.

The shape of these thermometers is more or less like a gun. There’s a region from where the laser is emitted. The laser ray is directly pointed to the surface whose temperature is to be measured. Though the path of the ray cannot be seen clearly, the point at which the ray touches the surface can be seen as a bright red dot. Within moments, the temperature of this incident area is reported by the thermometer.

Since any hot body will emit an equal amount of heat radiation from all of its parts, these laser based thermometers can be pointed at any point on the surface of the body. The reading is almost similar, irrespective of where this actual point is located. This becomes an advantage of laser thermometers over other thermometers, which need to be positioned in specific ways on the body whose temperature is to be measured.

Advantages

1. Laser thermometers don’t really need to be brought in contact with the object whose temperature needs to be measured. They can even measure temperature from a remote location. It is only necessary that the path of the laser shouldn’t be obstructed. It is for this reason that the laser-based thermometers are also called as non-touch thermometers.

2. The results are instantaneous. This is a great benefit, especially when creating clinical thermometers for infants. By using thermometers that work on the laser principle, it is no longer necessary to place the thermometer on the patient’s body and wait for a minute before taking the reading.

3. All these thermometers are digital, which makes it much easier to get readings from them.

Applications

These thermometers find a lot of versatile uses.

1. They are used in measuring body temperatures, especially in the form of ear thermometers, which are extensively used for measuring body temperature in babies.

2. They are used to find the temperature of food. Whether food is just removed from the refrigerator or from the oven, these thermometers can accurately tell what its temperature is, which helps you decide whether you want to eat the food or wait a while.

3. They are used in industry in determining places where there might be heat leakages. A routine laser thermometer scan of the whole area will show if there’s any place where there’s excessive heating.

4. Similarly, they are used by firefighters. If a particular area is just about to catch fire, a laser thermometer will be able to find its increased temperature in advance, and hence it will give the firefighters some advance warning.