The science behind temperature measuring guns and their accuracy

With the ongoing global pandemic, the use of temperature measuring guns has become a common practice in public places such as airports, schools, and businesses. These devices are used to quickly and non-invasively measure a person’s body temperature to detect potential signs of fever, which is a common symptom of various illnesses, including Covid-19. But how accurate are these temperature measuring guns, and what is the science behind their measurements?
Temperature measuring guns, also known as infrared thermometers, work by detecting the infrared energy emitted by an object, which is proportional to its temperature. The device uses a lens to focus the infrared energy onto a detector, which converts the energy into an electrical signal. This signal is then processed and displayed as a temperature reading on the device.
One of the key factors that affect the accuracy of temperature measuring guns is the distance between the device and the object being measured. The further away the object is, the larger the area the device is measuring, which can lead to a less accurate reading. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the correct distance for measuring temperatures to ensure accurate results.
Another factor that can affect the accuracy of temperature measuring guns is the emissivity of the object being measured. Emissivity is the ability of an object to emit infrared energy, and it can vary depending on the material and surface finish of the object. For example, shiny or reflective surfaces tend to have lower emissivity, which can lead to inaccurate temperature readings. Manufacturers of temperature measuring guns often provide information on the emissivity of common materials to help users calibrate the device for more accurate measurements.
Furthermore, the ambient temperature and humidity can also affect the accuracy of temperature measuring guns. Extreme environmental conditions, such as high humidity or temperature, can impact the device’s ability to accurately measure body temperature. It is important to use the device in a controlled environment to minimize the impact of these external factors on the accuracy of the readings.
Overall, when used correctly and in the right conditions, temperature measuring guns can provide quick and accurate measurements of body temperature. However, it is important to understand the limitations of these devices and to use them in conjunction with other screening methods to ensure the safety of individuals in public spaces. Additionally, regular calibration and maintenance of the devices are essential to ensure accurate readings over time.
In conclusion, the science behind temperature measuring guns involves the detection of infrared energy emitted by objects and converting it into a temperature reading. However, factors such as distance, emissivity, and environmental conditions can impact the accuracy of these measurements. Understanding and addressing these factors is crucial for obtaining reliable temperature readings with these devices.