Bolometer meaning, synonyms, antonyms, translation, and use cases


In today’s word for the day, we will be giving you a highlight on the meaning of bolometer, its synonyms, antonyms, translation, and use cases.


A bolometer is a device that uses a substance with a temperature-dependent electrical resistance to measure radiant heat. The American astronomer Samuel Pierpont Langley created it in 1878.

A bolometer is the name of an instrument that uses a temperature-sensitive resistive element to detect and measure the heat or power of incident RF or microwave energy. Thermostat and Baretter, whose resistance varies with temperature, are often used to know temperature resistive sensitive elements. It is also able to measure microwave energy at low and medium power levels.

Types of Bolometer

There are two types of Bolometer which include:


The resistance of a thermostat is inversely proportional to temperature and is composed of semiconductor material with a negative temperature coefficient.


The resistance of this extremely thin metal wire has a positive temperature coefficient and is inversely proportional to temperature.


Benefits of Bolometer

The following are some of the main advantages of bolometers:

  • When compared to other traditional particle detectors, they are incredibly effective in terms of sensitivity and energy resolution.
  • They don’t need cooling because they function at ambient temperature.
  • In addition to ionizing particles and photons, they can also measure non-ionizing particles.


Functions of a Borometer

They are different functions of a borometer which include:

  • Used to gauge resistance variation
  • Used to gauge temperature, heat, and radiation changes.
  • Applied to thermal cameras
  • Applied to detectors
  • Utilized to find hidden weapons
  • Used to scan fingerprints in scanners
  • Utilized for aerial monitoring
  • Utilized to find forest fires
  • Used for a variety of astronomy purposes.
  • Used to measure electrical responsiveness.

Bolometer Principle

Depending on the sort of temperature resistive sensing device being utilized, bolometers are temperature coefficients that can be either positive or negative. The bolometer’s schematic will resemble a bridge, with one arm housing a temperature-dependent resistor for gauging microwave radiation power.

Differential amplifiers and oscillators are used in the bridge circuit when it is not balanced to bring it into balance.

The bolometer bridge circuit employs two types of temperature-sensitive resistors. They are:
Thermistor and Barretter

A bolometer has an absorbing element, which is a thin metal sheet, as well as a thermal reservoir. The thermal reservoir is linked to the absorbent parts by a thermal connection.

A high temperature that is greater than the absorbed power is produced when electromagnetic radiation strikes an absorbing element and elevates the temperature over the thermal reservoir.

The speed of the instrument is controlled by the intrinsic thermal time constant, which is the same as the thermal conductance of the absorbing element and the heat capacity of the absorbing element and thermal reservoir.

The temperature change or resistance of absorbent materials can be measured using a thermometer.

So, let ‘P’ be the incident power absorbed by the absorber and ‘C’ and ‘T’ be the thermal mass’s heat capacity and temperature, respectively.

The thermal connection that links the thermal reservoir to a thermal mass is the thermal conductance G.

ΔT = P/G is the formula for temperature rise.

A thermometer, a temperature-dependent resistor, senses temperature changes based on the power P.

P = C/G gives the thermal intrinsic time constant



  • Bolometric
  • Bolometric detector
  • measuring instrument
  • measuring system


  • Non-bolometric instrument



Spanish- bolómetro
Latin- bolometer
Greek- βολόμετρο
French- bolomètre
Portuguese- bolômetro


First known use

The first known use was in 1880–85; from bol-, from Greek bolē ray of light, stroke, from ballein to throw + -meter


Use Cases

  • The bolometer thermal imager performs better when compared to an uncooled pyroelectric thermal imager.
  • In contrast to the thermopile, Langley’s bolometer was a considerably more sensitive device.
  • However, by using the bolometer in its most recent configuration, it is still possible to make better assessments of the heat of the moon.

Frequently Asked Question

What does a bolometer do?

The rise in temperature of a metal strip that has been blackened in one of the arms of a resistance bridge is used by a bolometer, an instrument, to measure radiation.

A detector, is a bolometer?

Detectors called bolometers are used to quantify incident IR radiation. They are frequently utilized in the IR spectrum between 10 and 5000 m, where they are most sensitive to thermal radiation (30THz to 60GHz).

Who makes use of bolometers?

Bolometers are among the most sensitive detectors now on the market for sub-millimeter through millimeter wavelengths (from about 200 m to a few mm wavelength, commonly known as the far-infrared, terahertz), and are thus utilized for astronomy at these wavelengths.

What do a thermopile and a bolometer do?

The thermopile uses the thermoelectric or Seebeck effect in a thermocouple to create a temperature difference transducer, whereas the bolometer uses the thermoresistive effect, i.e. the temperature dependence of an electric resistance, to sense temperature.

Video Explanation of Bolometer

This video will give you a further explanation on the meaning of Bolometer.


An instrument called a bolometer uses a temperature-sensitive resistor to detect microwave power at medium and low levels. The heat produced when RF or microwave energy is applied to the bridge circuit alters the temperature resistive element’s resistance, absorbing the power or radiation to be measured.

In order to balance the bridge, oscillators and differential amplifiers are employed to shake the circuit. The absorbed power may be computed, and tiny variations in resistance can be detected using a bolometer.




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