Handheld infrared (IR) thermometers are an inexpensive instrument that no ghost hunter should be without. They are widely used throughout many industries and work environments to determine surface temperature. The IR thermometer was originally developed to measure the temperature of an object when a normal contact thermometer could not be used – such as on a moving object, an object in a vacuum where time-sensitive readings are required or to measure the temperature of an object with limited access.
When used on an investigation, this will aid as a detection system for spirit presence - rapid temperature drop will indicate spirit presence.
The infrared thermometer infers temperature from a portion of the thermal radiation, sometimes called a black-body radiation, and is emitted by the object being measured. They are sometimes called laser thermometers and have a laser that is used to help aim the thermometer. By knowing the amount of infrared energy emitted by the object and its emissivity, the object’s temperature can often be determined within a certain range of its actual temperature. Infrared thermometers are a subset of devices known as “thermal radiation thermometers”.
Infrared light works like visible light. It can be focused, reflected or absorbed. The handheld infrared thermometers typically use a lens to focus light from one object onto a detector, called a thermopile. The thermopile absorbs the infrared radiation and turns it into heat. The more infrared energy, the hotter the thermopile gets.