Three Infrared Pyrometers reading the same object, but which is correct?For many years I was involved in noncontact (infrared) temperature measurement in the glass and metals industries.

For more than half that time I was involved in applying the products made by the Land Pyrometers Ltd organization while part of the Land Instruments subsidiary in the USA.

In the 1980s, we (me and our sales & marketing reps) spent a great deal of time with a Steel company in Northern Indiana working with their Instrument and Calibration Department helping them develop calibration practices with some of our products. We spent so much time with them that one of the Instrument techs started calling me “Mister Pyrometer”.

I felt honored to have that nickname and decided to use it for my twitter feed from my temperature websites when twitter became popular; even registered that domain name and the companion “” for my emails.

The rest is history.


A pyrometer is a type of remote-sensing thermometer used to measure the temperature of a surface. Various forms of pyrometers have historically existed. In the modern usage, it is a device that from a distance determines the temperature of a surface from the amount of the thermal radiation it emits, a process known as pyrometry…

A quick background:

My formal education is in physics and while I spent several years doing  biophysics research with state-of-art lasers, I migrated into business and industry early in my career. I joined the American Physical Society’s Optical Society as a student and later the IEEE, but my progression was more to the practice areas.

In my latter work, I became a Fellow of ASTM International, a Senior Life Member of The International Society of Automation (ISA) and am a former contributing member of SPIE’s ThermoSense Group, The IR/Info Conferences, The Association of Iron & Steel Engineers and The National Conference of Standards Laboratories.

I am still active in ISA’s Philadelphia Section ( and the ThermoSense Program Committee (

I also created the websites,,,,,, and and act as one of the webmasters for

While my first website,, was originally created in 1997 using notepad html, I have been developing Content Management System (CMS) websites since 2001, after I retired from LTV Steel Company, and have been using Open Source WordPress CMS software for more than 10 years. Also, I am a regular attendee at Pennsylvania WordCamps.

Among my objectives with this blog is to update and archive the best content from my older sites and add new features and share related news as I am able.

NOTE: The image above shows three different portable, low-cost Infrared Thermometers reading the temperature of a uniform surface. They all carry about the same specs and are supposedly calibrated to with the makers capabilities; it illustrates that these devices can and do measure differently.

Further, the reason for the differences is not obvious, nor is the actual temperature certain; it illustrates a little about measurement uncertainty. Measurement is not as simple as most of the instrument sellers would like you to believe, nor is calibration.

BTW, if you are satisfied that the most likely temperature of the surface being read by these thermometer is about 70 °F, then you are beginning to understand the significance of the differences in readings of these devices. The point being: one reading does not tell the whole story; an average is more representative and while these devices are capable of responding to tenths of degrees, they are not necessarily “accurate” to within a tenth!

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