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  1. Oooh! This is one I can answer! They generally use a thermistor which is an electrical component whose resistance is highly dependent on its temperature (which makes sense, no? Most resistors have a heat dependence, which is why superconductors are supercooled, to minimize the resistence encountered by accelerated particles). Then, using the battery you’ve put in the thermometer (i.e. a stable, known voltage), you can measure the current that flows across the thermistor (according the simplified Ohm’s Law: V = I * R) using an internal ammeter. That ammeter is calibrated to temperatures. Voila.

  2. It now occurs to me that you might have been posing a rhetorical question which I wasn’t supposed to answer….

  3. No. I do want the answers to these questions, usually. Today’s question is rhetorical though. If you could actually answer today’s question, I would have a whole passel of other questions.

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