Infrared Thermometers 101

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Our team at Global Sensors specializes in providing high-quality temperature and humidity sensors and monitors. We work with clients in a variety of industries, including food, pharmaceuticals, and scientific equipment and testing. Naturally, different industries have different requirements for temperature monitoring, so we offer a range of temperature sensors, including infrared thermometers.

Infrared Thermometers 101

In this article, we will provide an overview of how infrared thermometers work to help you decide if they are right for your needs.

  • Black Body Radiation – To understand how infrared thermometers work, you first need to understand the concept of black body radiation. To put it simply, all matter is made of atoms, which in turn are made of subatomic particles, and those particles are constantly moving (even if the object they are part of is still). The movement of these particles creates infrared radiation, which is what infrared thermometers measure.
  • Channeling Infrared Radiation – To measure infrared radiation, infrared thermometers use a focusing lens. Infrared radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation below the visible spectrum of light, and it behaves like visible light in that it can be absorbed, reflected, and focused. Infrared thermometers channel infrared light through a lens into a device called a thermopile, which transforms the infrared radiation into heat.
  • Transforming Heat to Electricity – When the thermopile in an infrared thermometer transforms infrared radiation into heat, it then converts that heat energy into electricity. This electrical current is then sent to a detector, which measures the strength of the current and uses that to derive the temperature of the original surface.