OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 41, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1951
  • pp: 823–829

Ambient Temperature Independent Thermopiles for Radiation Pyrometry

WILLIAM G. FASTIE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 41, Issue 11, pp. 823-829 (1951)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (953 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Most thermopiles show a decrease in sensitivity when ambient temperature increases. By experimental study of the temperature dependence of the various factors which affect the sensitivity (radiation loss, gaseous conduction and convection loss, and losses through the solid supports) it has been determined that a major contributor to the effect at atmospheric pressure is the temperature coefficient of thermal conductivity of the thermocouple wires. Several ambient temperature independent thermopiles operating at atmospheric pressure have been made either by adjusting the size of the thermocouple wires or by addition of other solid conducting supports between the receiver and the cold junctions.

A mathematical analysis of the thermal system of a thermopile has led to a simplified formula for determining the proper materials and dimensions required to obtain ambient temperature independence. As a direct result of the analysis it can be stated that any thermopile, operated at atmospheric pressure, can be made ambient temperature independent by the proper choice of a thermal shunt between the receiver and the cold junctions. Limitations of the analysis are discussed. Experimental confirmation of the method is presented.

WILLIAM G. FASTIE, "Ambient Temperature Independent Thermopiles for Radiation Pyrometry," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 823-829 (1951)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. U. S. Patent No. 1,553,789 (George Keinath).
  2. T. R. Harrison and W. Wanamaker, Rev. Sci. Instr. 12, 20 (1941).
  3. I. Amdur and N. L. Brown, Rev. Sci. Instr. 20, 435 (1949).
  4. Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 1947 edition.
  5. U. S. Patent Reissue 19, 564.
  6. W. G. Fastie and A. H. Pfund, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 762 (1947).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited