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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física

Print version ISSN 1806-1117On-line version ISSN 1806-9126


PIRES, Denise Prazeres Lopes; AFONSO, Júlio Carlos  and  CHAVES, Francisco Artur Braun. The thermometry in the XIXth and the XXth centuries. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.1, pp.101-114. ISSN 1806-9126.

This work describes some aspects on the evolution of the temperature measurement. In the XIXth century, the concept of absolute zero was a great advance since no arbitrary points were needed, in contrast to the current thermometric scales based on the volumetric expansion of liquids such as mercury and ethanol. Other temperature measurement methods were developed, being the principle of thermocouples and the pyrometers. The construction and use of a thermometer were early recognized as fundamental steps in teaching experimental physics in secondary schools and universities. The association between the thermometer and the densimeter was of great value for control of industrial processes and teaching purposes. The instrument found new designs in order to cover its new applications in science and industry. The most important contribution in the XXth century was the establishment of international temperature scales. The design of the classical thermometer based on the thermal expansion of a liquid has been essentially the same along the last 300 years. However, there is a clear tendency to replace such models by digitals versions.

Keywords : thermometry; thermometer; thermometric scale.

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