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Temperature-measuring instrument consisting of two wires of different metals joined at each end. One junction is placed where the temperature is to be measured, and the other is kept at a constant lower (reference) temperature. A measuring instrument is connected in the electrical circuit. The temperature difference causes the development of an electromotive force that is approximately proportional to the difference between the temperatures of the two junctions. Temperature can be read from standard tables, or the instrument can be calibrated to display temperature directly.
Variants of THERMOCOUPLE
thermocouple or thermal junction or thermoelectric thermometer
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on thermocouple, visit Britannica.com.