Scientific Instruments

Scientific Instruments

In layman terms it is a device used for scientific purposes. From a thermometer that measures temperature to a microscope that works on the principle of magnification our lives are surrounded by these tools better known as Scientific instruments.

Scientific Instruments are used for scientific purposes as the name suggests. These are tools or devices that cater scientific needs.


In early days based on their usage and laws the definition of scientific instruments varied like they were known as philosophical instruments in the mid nineteenth century.

Scientific Instruments were made basically by people living in and around learning centres be it Universities or laboratories. These people are known as instrument makers. Also, with time there is change in the equipment that was made.


Scientific Instruments have different shapes and sizes. They can be simple or difficult to use. For instance, it can be as simple as a scape or thermometer and on the other hand can be sensitive and complicated as surgical instruments or other nanotech instruments.


Scientific instruments are devices, apparatus, tools which are designed keeping in mind certain basic scientific principles which are further based on the function the equipment will perform. They are designed and modified based on the demand of the scientists and the research the given equipment will cater to.

Some important scientific instruments

Following is a list of some scientific instruments and their functions-:

Ammeter- It measures electric derives its name from the si unit of current ampere. It can measure direct as well as alternating current .It is connected in series also it was invented by Friedrich Dexler

Calorimeter- it measures heat. More specifically it is used in calorimetry. It can measure heat released during a chemical reaction or any other physical change. It was invented by Antoine Lavoisier.

Audiometer- It is used to measure the intensity of basically measures your hearing ability of different sounds based on their intensity or tone .it was first invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

Barometer- It measures the atmospheric pressure. It was invented by Evangelista Torricelli. Based on the changes in pressure the weather for a place is forecasted, so it is important for the meteorological department.

Binocular – It is used to see distant was invented BY J. P. Lemiere

Thermometer – measures temperature.. The digital thermometers use heat sensors while the conventional ones use mercury for detecting the temperature gradient,

Voltmeter – It is used to measure voltage. The first digital voltmeter was discovered by Andrew Kay. It is usually connected in parallel between the two pints between which the electric potential difference is calculated.

Ohmmeter – It is used to measure resistance. Evershed & Vignoles discovered the world’s first high resistance ohmmeter. In this the resistance to be measured is connected parallel

Dynamometer- It measures force or torque.

Speedometer – As the name suggests it measures the speed of a vehicle. They came in the 20th century and are used to show the instantaneous speed of the vehicle. electric speedometer was discovered by Josip Belušić in 1888 

Anemometer-The word anemo means  wind and hence it is basically used for finding out the speed and direction of wind. Leon Battista Alberti invented an anemometer.

Manometer- it is used to measure the force exerted by gas per unit surface area.

Lactometer – It is used to determine the purity of milk.  Christian Huygens invented the U tube manometer

Hydrometer- it measures specific gravity of liquids. It is used to measure relative density of liquids based on buyonancy.It is based on Archimedes principle.

Odometer – It measures distance Covered by vehicle. The odometer can electronic or mechanical or combination of the was in 1628, Thomas Savery invented an odometer for ships

Weighing scale – It measures weight. In the year 770, Richard Salte discovered the first design of the weighing scale.

Potentiometer – It is to compare EMF. (Electromotive force). It was discovered by Thomas Edison in 1872.

Sphygmomanometer- It is used to measure blood pressure. Here sphygmos means the beating of the heart and manometer is an instrument measure pressure .it was invented by in 1881, von Basch

Galvanometer- It was invented by Johann Schweigger (1779–1857), Its main use is to measure small electric current.

Hygrometer- It measures water vapour in air. It is used in the metrological department for measuring the amount of water vapour present in the air. It was invented by Leonardo da Vinci in the year 1400.


Scientific instruments are a part of our day to day the world of scientific advancement and technology has seen a long journey. the large budget allocation by various countries in this sector due its potential to cater to a large public. These instruments have made our life easy, comfortable and advanced. Moreover, they have eased the life of scientists and made it easier for them to get faster and precise results. Thus, this sector if given more boost in our country can help in getting more jobs and surely will add to develop a robust economy.