A Basic Understanding of the Atmosphere Around the Investigation The infrared (IR) thermometer has become a popular tool for taking surface temperature measurements and offers convenience and other advantages, like instantaneous readings. However one must stop and think what an IR Thermometer really gives you in the way of information – and that’s surface temperature of the item you targeted. Is that really useful? Sometimes, but not often. So great care must be taken to make certain that their use does not offer mis-leading information in your investigation. What you’re really needing is surface air information, with pinpoint accuracy, on a regular basis. This, along with a detailed report can provide a lot of information about a purported haunt, as surface temperatures are basically useless in determining cold spots caused by a paranormal event. They will however, notify you of the surface temperature around suspected draft location that could be caused by  ambient temperatures in a room which fluctuate. Thus since an IR thermometer only measures surface temperature, an internal-temperature measuring device, such as a probe-thermometer, or digital ambient thermometer (our tool of choice) is still required in getting an accurate picture of the surrounding atmospheric information (air temperature & humidity) before, during and after, the investigation. Infrared Thermometers   All matter- liquid, solid, or gas--constantly exchanges thermal energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation with its surroundings. If there is a temperature difference between the object in question and its surroundings, there will be a net energy transfer in the form of heat. This means that a colder object will be warmed at the expense of its surroundings, and a warmer object cooled. If the object in question is at the same temperature as its surrounding, the net radiation energy exchange will be zero. In either case, the characteristic spectrum of the radiation depends on the object and its surroundings' absolute temperatures which is a relative to absolute zero (0 K, ? it’s defined as 0° K, Kelvin, −273.15° C, Celsius , −459.67° F, Fahrenheit). Infrared thermometers take advantage of this ‘radiation dependence’ on temperature to produce a value for the targeted object and displays the results for the operator to read.  This device is pricey and can run from about $100-250 USD. Ambient Thermometers Ambient temperature is a non-specific phrase used to describe the surrounding air temperature. Normally, when taking the temperature with an ambient thermometer, you are getting a general idea of the temperature of the surrounding air without taking into account the maximum and minimum temperatures experienced during an investigation vigil. Nor do many paranormal investigators take into account the humidity level or wind (including drafts, fans, breeze, etc.) in the air. The amount of moisture (mugginess) or humidity in the air can create higher or lower temperature readings that will cause the heat index to increase or decrease accordingly. Just as winds can also play a role in how cold a temperature will feel to a human, or ‘wind chill factor.’ This phenomenon can cause the air to have a ‘perceived’ variance in the temperature. To measure the ambient air temperature, our team uses an ambient digital thermometer that will provide both the ambient temperature and humidity level instantaneously with the push of a button. Not only is this tool important, it’s less expensive than the laser infrared thermometer above, and provides information relevant to the investigation. Not to mention they only cost around $10-15 USD. Even though there are other devices that are more expensive (on the left), the pocket probe (on the right) is by far our project’s favorite by nearly all our research investigators on the team. Thermometers & Atmosphere Determining Temperature is Only Part of the Experience Ghost Hunting 101 The content of this website is the copyright of World Nexus Publications © 2008-2011