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Selecting and Using Alternative Thermometers

The NIST Selecting and Using Alternative Thermometers Mini-Workshop is offered every year and is a laboratory-based workshop designed to assist those in industry in the conversion from mercury thermometers to safer alternatives. The workshop covers different types of alternative thermometers, selecting the best alternative thermometer for your measurement application and uncertainty, calibrating alternative thermometers, and "in-the-field" validation methods.

The 2012 NIST Selecting and Using Alternative Thermometers Mini-Workshop has been cancelled due to a lack of registrants.  Registration for this workshop is closed.

2012 NIST Selecting and Using Alternative Thermometers Mini-Workshop
September 20-21, 2012
NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland

The Selecting and Using Alternative Thermometers Mini-Workshop is scheduled to be given in the NIST Industrial Thermometer Calibration Laboratory on September 20-21, 2012. The workshop is designed to provide intensive "hands-on" laboratory training in selecting and using digital thermometers over the temperature range from –196 °C to 500 °C. The participants will learn how to transition from a mercury thermometer to a digital thermometer for their measurement application. Application-based selection-criteria of a digital thermometer will be addressed with respect to the participants measurement needs. Measurements will focus on understanding the difference between a mercury thermometer and digital thermometer measurement result, proper measurement techniques for digital thermometers, how to use the ice melting point and steam point to validate a digital thermometer, and the development of uncertainty statements. Time will be split between laboratory (85%) and lecture (15%) sessions. The workshop runs from 0830 h to 1700 h each day.

Attendance for the course is limited to 6 participants. Pre-registration is required and acceptance is determined on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who Should Attend:

The workshop is intended for calibration laboratory personnel who are familiar with using thermometers. The participants should each bring a hand-held calculator.  Participation is limited to 6 persons per workshop on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additional workshops will be held quarterly on an as-needed basis (minimum of four wait-listed participants).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012:
   8 am Lecture
   2 pm Laboratory Session
   5 pm Adjourn

Thursday, September 20, 2012:
   8 am Lecture
   2 pm Laboratory Session
   5 pm Adjourn
   6 pm Dinner


The instructors from the NIST Sensor Science Division are:
   Mr. Gregory Strouse
   Ms. Dawn Cross

Lecture Topics:

Overview of alternative thermometers
    I.  Application-based selection
    II. Measurement equipment
    III. Measurement differences between analog and digital thermometers
    IV. ITS-90 vs E1137 nist-equations

Using a digital thermometer – Hands-on in the laboratory

•    Measurement differences between analog and digital thermometers
•    Use and care of a digital thermometer
•    Validation techniques
o    Ice melting point
o    Steam point
•    Field-use of a digital thermometer
•    Calibrating a digital thermometer by comparison
o    –196 °C to 500 °C

Round-Table Discussion
Instructors and Course Participants

Workshop registration does not include your hotel reservation. However, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg at 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, Maryland. The special rate is $139.00 per night plus 13% tax. Please contact the hotel directly at (301) 977-8900. To make your reservation, mention that you are attending the "NIST/Spectroradiometry Short Course". Reservations should be made early to ensure the NIST group rate. Requests received after August 17, 2012 will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.


This course will be held at the NIST Metrology Building (221), Room B005 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For transportation information and driving directions, see Transportation to NIST.

Created January 26, 2012, Updated September 21, 2016