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A thermometer is a device that measures temperature or a temperature gradient.
A thermometer has two important elements:
(1) a temperature sensor (e.g. the bulb of a mercury-in-glass thermometer or the digital sensor in an infrared thermometer) in which some change occurs with a change in temperature
(2) some means of converting this change into a numerical value (e.g. the visible scale that is marked on a mercury-in-glass thermometer or the digital readout on an infrared model)
Thermometers are widely used in industry to monitor processes, in meteorology, in medicine, and in scientific research.