The Phrontistery

Books by Stephen Chrisomalis
Numerical Notation: A Comparative History Human Expeditions: Inspired by Bruce Trigger


Scientific Instruments

Have you ever been in the middle of a class lecture, medical examination or episode of Star Trek only to realise suddenly that you have no clue what all those gizmos, gadgets and other scientific instruments actually do? If so, your problems are solved. This list defines 418 scientific instruments and technical tools used for viewing, displaying, recording and measuring just about anything you can imagine (and some things you probably can't). Most of these words end in "meter" (instruments for measuring), "scope" (instruments for viewing) or "graph" (instruments for displaying and recording).

Word Definition
absorptiometer instrument for measuring solubility of gases in liquids
accelerometer instrument for measuring acceleration or vibrations
acetimeter instrument for measuring strength of vinegar
acidimeter instrument for measuring concentration of acids
actinograph instrument used to calculate time of photographic exposure
actinometer instrument for measuring incident radiation
aerometer instrument for measuring weight or density of gas
aethrioscope instrument for measuring temperature variations due to sky conditions
alcoholometer instrument for measuring proportion of alcohol in solutions
alcovinometer instrument to measure strength of wine
algometer instrument for measuring sensitivity to pain
alkalimeter instrument for measuring strength of alkalines
altimeter instrument for measuring altitude
ammeter instrument for measuring electrical current
anemograph instrument for measuring pressure and velocity of wind
anemometer instrument for measuring wind velocity
areometer instrument used for measuring specific gravity
arthroscope instrument for examining interior of a joint
atmometer instrument for measuring evaporating capacity of air
audiometer instrument for measuring acuity of hearing
auriscope instrument for examining the ear
auxanometer instrument for measuring growth of plants
auxometer instrument for measuring magnifying power
ballistocardiograph instrument for detecting body movements caused by heartbeat
barograph instrument for recording air pressure
barometer instrument for measuring air pressure
baroscope weather-glass
bathymeter instrument for recording contours of deep oceans
bathythermograph instrument for recording water temperature as compared to depth
bolometer instrument for measuring radiant energy or infrared light
bronchoscope instrument for examining the windpipe
calorimeter instrument for measuring absorbed or evolved heat
cardiograph instrument for recording movements of the heart
cathetometer instrument for measuring short vertical distances
ceilometer instrument for measuring height of cloud ceiling above earth
ceraunograph instrument for recording thunder and lightning
chlorometer instrument for measuring amount of chlorine in a solution
chromatograph instrument for performing chromatographic separations
chromatoptometer instrument measuring eyes' sensitivity to colour
chronograph instrument for recording the moment of an event
chronometer instrument for measuring time
chronoscope instrument for measuring very short time intervals
clinometer instrument used to measure slopes and elevations
coercimeter instrument for measuring coercive force
colonoscope instrument for viewing the colon
colorimeter instrument for measuring and determining color
colposcope instrument for viewing the neck of the uterus
coronagraph instrument for viewing the corona of the sun
coulombmeter instrument for measuring electric charge
coulometer instrument measuring amount of substance released in electrolysis
craniometer instrument for measuring the skull
cratometer instrument for measuring power of magnification
crescograph instrument for measuring the growth of plants
cryometer instrument for measuring low temperatures
cryoscope instrument for determining freezing points of substances
cyanometer instrument for measuring blueness of the sky or ocean
cyclograph instrument for describing arcs of circles without compasses
cyclometer instrument for measuring revolutions of a wheel
cymograph instrument for tracing the outline of mouldings
cymometer instrument for measuring frequency of electrical waves
cystoscope instrument for examining the bladder
cytometer instrument for counting cells
decelerometer instrument for measuring deceleration
declinometer instrument for measuring magnetic declination
dendrometer instrument for measuring trees
densimeter instrument for measuring closeness of grain of a substance
densitometer instrument for measuring optical or photographic density
diagometer instrument for measuring electrical conductivity
diagraph instrument for enlarging or projecting drawings
diaphanometer instrument for measuring the transparency of air
dichroscope instrument for examining crystals for dichroism
diffractometer instrument for determining structure of crystal through light diffraction
dilatometer instrument for measuring expansion
dioptometer instrument for measuring focus or refraction of the eyes
dipleidoscope instrument for measuring moment when an object passes a meridian
diplograph instrument for writing two lines of text at once
dosimeter instrument for measuring dose of radiation
dromometer instrument for measuring speed
drosometer instrument for measuring dew
durometer instrument for measuring hardness of substances
dynamograph instrument for recording mechanical forces
dynamometer instrument for measuring mechanical force
ebullioscope instrument for measuring boiling point of liquids
effusiometer instrument for comparing molecular weights of gases
eidograph instrument for copying drawings
elatrometer instrument for measuring gaseous pressure
electrocardiograph instrument for recording unusual electrical fluctuations of the heart
electrodynamometer instrument for measuring electrical current
electroencephalograph instrument for measuring the brain's electrical impulses
electrograph instrument for recording electrical potential
electrometer instrument for measuring electrical potential
electromyograph instrument for diagnosing neuromuscular disorders
electroretinograph instrument for measuring electrical activity in the retina
electroscope instrument for detecting electrical charges in the body
ellipsograph instrument for describing ellipses
encephalograph instrument for recording brain images
endoscope instrument for visualizing interior of a hollow organ
endosmometer instrument for measuring osmosis into a solution
epidiascope instrument for projecting images of objects
episcope instrument for projecting images of opaque objects
ergograph instrument for measuring and recording muscular work
ergometer instrument for measuring work performed
eriometer instrument for measuring very small diameters
eudiometer instrument for measuring air purity
evaporimeter instrument for measuring rate of evaporation
extensometer instrument for measuring deformation in object due to forces applied
fathometer instrument for measuring underwater depth using sound
fiberscope instrument using fiberoptics to examine inaccessible areas
floriscope instrument for inspecting flowers
flowmeter instrument for measuring properties of flowing liquids
fluorimeter instrument for measuring fluorescence
fluoroscope instrument using x-rays to examine internal structure of opaque object
focimeter instrument for measuring focal length of a lens
galactometer instrument for measuring specific gravity of milk
galvanometer instrument for measuring electrical current
galvanoscope instrument for detecting presence and direction of electric current
gasometer instrument for holding and measuring gases
gastroscope instrument for examining interior of the stomach
geothermometer instrument for measuring subterranean temperatures
goniometer instrument for measuring angles between faces
gradiometer instrument for measuring gradient of a physical quantity
gravimeter instrument for measuring variations in gravitational fields
gyrograph instrument for counting a wheel's revolutions
haptometer instrument measuring sensitivity to touch
harmonograph instrument drawing curves representing vibrations
harmonometer instrument measuring harmonic relations of sounds
helicograph instrument for drawing spirals on a plane
heliograph instrument for measuring intensity of sunlight
heliometer instrument for measuring apparent diameter of the sun
helioscope instrument for observing sun without injury to the eyes
hemacytometer instrument for counting blood cells
hippometer instrument to measure height of horses
hodoscope instrument for tracing paths of ionizing particles
hydrometer instrument for measuring specific gravity of liquids
hydroscope instrument for viewing under water
hydrotimeter instrument for measuring water hardness
hyetograph instrument for recording rainfall
hyetometer instrument for measuring rainfall
hyetometrograph instrument for recording rainfall
hygrograph instrument for recording variations in atmospheric humidity
hygrometer instrument for measuring air moisture
hygroscope instrument for displaying changes in air humidity
hypsometer instrument for measuring height of trees through triangulation
iconometer instrument for finding size of object by measuring its image
idiometer instrument for measuring motion of observer in relation to transit of the heavens
inclinometer instrument for measuring inclination to the horizontal of an axis
interferometer instrument for analysing spectra of light
iriscope instrument for exhibiting the prismatic colours
katathermometer instrument for measuring the cooling power of air
katharometer instrument measuring changes in composition of gases
keratometer instrument for measuring curvature of the cornea
keraunograph instrument for recording distant thunderstorms
kinetoscope instrument for producing curves by combination of circular movements
konimeter instrument measuring amount of dust in air
koniscope instrument for measuring dust in air
kymograph instrument for recording fluid pressure
labidometer instrument for measuring size of the head of a fetus
lactometer instrument for testing relative density of milk
lactoscope instrument for measuring purity or richness of milk
lanameter instrument for measuring quality of wool
laparoscope instrument for viewing interior of peritoneal cavity
laryngoscope instrument for examining interior of the larynx
leptometer instrument for measuring oil viscosity
loxodograph device used to record ship's travels
lucimeter instrument for measuring light intensity
luxmeter instrument for measuring illumination
lysimeter instrument for measuring percolation of water through soil
magnetograph instrument for recording measurements of magnetic fields
magnetometer instrument for measuring intensity of magnetic fields
manometer instrument for measuring pressure of a liquid or gas
marigraph instrument for recording tide levels
mecometer instrument for measuring length
megameter instrument for determining longitude by observing stars
megascope instrument for projecting an enlarged image
mekometer range-finder
meldometer instrument for measuring melting points of substances
meteorograph instrument recording a variety of meteorological observations
methanometer instrument for detecting presence of methane
microbarograph instrument for recording minute changes in atmospheric pressure
microcalorimeter instrument for measuring tiny quantities of heat
micrograph instrument used to write on a very small scale
micrometer instrument for measuring very small distances
micronometer instrument for measuring short periods of time
microscope instrument for magnifying small objects
microseismograph instrument for recording small or distant earthquakes
microseismometer instrument for measuring small or distant earthquakes
mileometer instrument for recording distance travelled in miles
milliammeter instrument for recording very small electrical currents
myograph instrument for recording muscular contractions
myringoscope instrument for viewing the eardrum
nephelometer instrument for measuring cloudiness
nephograph instrument for photographing clouds
nephoscope instrument for observing direction and velocity of clouds
nitrometer instrument for measuring nitrogen and its compounds
odograph odometer; instrument for measuring distance travelled
odometer instrument for measuring distance travelled
odontograph instrument for obtaining curves for gear-teeth
oenometer instrument for measuring alcoholic strength of wine
ohmmeter instrument for measuring electrical resistance
oleometer instrument for measuring amount of oil in a substance
olfactometer instrument measuring intensity of odour of a substance
ombrometer rain-gauge
oncometer instrument measuring change in size of internal organs
oncosimeter instrument measuring variations in density of molten metal
ondograph instrument measuring change in wave formations of electricity
oometer instrument for measuring eggs
opacimeter instrument for measuring opacity
opeidoscope instrument for illustrating sound by means of light
ophthalmometer instrument for measuring the eye
ophthalmoscope instrument for viewing the interior of the eye
opisometer instrument for measuring curved lines
opsiometer instrument for testing vision
optometer instrument for testing vision
orchidometer instrument for measuring the size of the testicles
oscillograph instrument for recording alternating current wave forms
oscillometer instrument for measuring ship's rollings
oscilloscope instrument for detecting electrical fluctuations
osmometer instrument for measuring osmotic pressure
otoscope instrument for examining the ear
pachymeter instrument for measuring small thicknesses
pallograph instrument measuring ship's vibration
pantochronometer combined sundial and compass
pantograph instrument for copying drawing to a different scale
passimeter instrument for issuing automatic tickets
pedometer instrument for measuring distance travelled on foot
peirameter instrument measuring resistance of road surfaces to wheel movement
pelvimeter instrument for measuring the pelvis
penetrometer instrument for measuring firmness or consistency of substances
permeameter instrument for measuring permeability
phacometer instrument for measuring lenses
phaometer old instrument for measuring light intensity
pharmacometer instrument for measuring drugs
pharyngoscope instrument for inspecting the pharynx
phonautograph instrument for recording sound vibrations
phonendoscope device which amplifies small sounds
phonometer instrument for measuring sound levels
phorometer instrument used to correct abnormalities in eye muscles
photometer instrument for measuring light intensity
photopolarimeter instrument for measuring intensity and polarization of reflected light
phototachometer instrument for measuring the speed of light
phototelegraph instrument for transmitting drawings telegraphically
phthongometer instrument measuring intensity of vowel sounds
piezometer instrument for measuring pressure or compressibility
pitchometer instrument for measuring angles of ship's propeller blades
planigraph instrument for copying drawings at a different scale
planimeter instrument for measuring area of plane figures
platometer instrument for measuring area; planimeter
plegometer instrument for measuring the strength of a blow
plemyrameter instrument for measuring variations in water level
plethysmograph instrument for measuring change in body part size due to blood flow
pluviograph self-registering rain gauge
pluviometer rain-meter
pneometer instrument that measures respiration
pneumatometer instrument for measuring quantity of air breathed
pneumograph instrument for measuring and recording respiration
polarimeter instrument for measuring polarised light
polariscope instrument for detecting polarized light
polygraph instrument for measuring small changes in pulse and respiration
porometer instrument for measuring degree of porosity
poroscope instrument for investigating porosity
potentiometer instrument for measuring electromotive forces
potometer instrument measuring rate at which plants absorb water
prisoptometer instrument for measuring degree of astigmatism
proctoscope instrument for examining the rectum
psophometer instrument measuring audible interference of electrical current
psychograph instrument that supposedly records spirit messages
psychrometer instrument for measuring air moisture or temperature
psychrometer instrument for measuring dryness of the atmosphere
pulsimeter instrument for measuring the pulse
pycnometer instrument for measuring specific gravity or density
pyknometer instrument for measuring specific gravities
pyranometer instrument measuring solar radiation from the sky's whole hemisphere
pyrgeometer instrument for measuring radiation from earth
pyrheliometer instrument for measuring heating effect of sun
pyrometer instrument for measuring very high temperatures
pyroscope instrument for measuring intensity of radiant heat
qualimeter apparatus for measuring penetrating power of X-ray beams
quantimeter apparatus for measuring quantity of X-rays
quantometer instrument for measuring proportions of elements in metallic samples
rachiometer instrument for measuring the spine
radarscope instrument for detecting radar signals
radiogoniometer instrument for finding direction through radio signals
radiometeorograph instrument for measuring atmospheric conditions at high altitude
radiometer instrument measuring radiation energy
radioscope instrument for viewing objects using X-rays
ratemeter instrument for measuring counting rate of electronic counters
recipiangle old instrument with two arms used for measuring angles
reflectometer instrument for measuring reflectance of radiant energy
refractometer instrument measuring refraction of light
respirometer instrument for measuring and studying respiration
retinoscope instrument for measuring and viewing the retina
rheometer instrument that measures current
rhinoscope instrument for examining the nose
rhythmometer instrument for measuring speed of rhythms
riometer instrument for measuring absorbed cosmic radio waves
rotameter old instrument for measuring length of curved lines
rotameter instrument consisting of glass tube with free float for measuring liquid flow
saccharimeter instrument for measuring amount of sugar in a solution
salinometer instrument for measuring amount of salt in a solution
scintillometer instrument measuring scintillation of star
scintilloscope instrument for measuring gamma rays emitted by a radioactive body
sclerometer instrument measuring hardness
scoliometer instrument measuring curvature
scotograph instrument for writing without seeing
scotoscope instrument for detecting objects in darkness
seismograph instrument for recording earthquakes
seismometer instrument for measuring earthquake intensity
seismoscope instrument for detecting earthquakes
selenoscope instrument for viewing the moon
sensitometer instrument for measuring sensitivity of photographic material
sepometer instrument for measuring septic matter in the air
serimeter instrument for testing quality of silk
shuftiscope instrument used to explore interior of dysentery case
siccimeter instrument for measuring liquid evaporation
sideroscope instrument using magnets to detect presence of iron
sigmoidoscope instrument for examining the interior of the rectum and sigmoid colon
sillometer instrument measuring speed of ship
skiascope instrument for measuring eye's refraction from movement of shadows
snooperscope instrument for viewing infrared radiation
solarimeter instrument for measuring solar radiation
sonograph instrument for recording and analysing sound
spectrofluorimeter instrument for measuring and recording fluorescence spectra
spectrograph instrument for viewing a spectrum
spectroheliograph instrument for taking pictures of the sun
spectroheliokinematograph camera for taking pictures of the sun
spectrohelioscope instrument for viewing solar disc in light of a single wavelength
spectrometer instrument measuring wavelengths of light of a spectrum
spectrophotometer instrument for measuring speed of different parts of light spectrum
spectroscope instrument for forming spectra by dispersing rays of light
speedometer instrument for measuring velocity
spherometer instrument measuring curvature
sphygmograph instrument for recording pulse
sphygmomanometer instrument for measuring arterial blood pressure
sphygmometer instrument for measuring arterial blood pressure
sphygmoscope instrument for making arterial pulsations visible
spinthariscope instrument for visually detecting alpha particles
spirograph instrument recording movements of breathing
spirometer instrument measuring lung capacity
stactometer pipette with hollow bulb for counting drops
stadiometer instrument for measuring the length of a curved line
stagmometer instrument for measuring number of drops in volume of liquid
stalagmometer instrument for measuring surface tension by drops
statoscope instrument for measuring small changes in atmospheric pressure
stauroscope instrument for studying structure of crystals with polarised light
stenometer instrument for measuring distances
stereometer instrument for measuring specific gravity
stereoscope instrument for viewing special three-dimensional photographs
stethometer instrument measuring chest expansion during breathing
stethoscope instrument for detecting sounds produced by the body
strabismometer instrument measuring degree of squinting
strabometer instrument for measuring strabismus in the eyes
stroboscope instrument for studying motion using flashes of light
stylometer instrument for measuring columns
swingometer instrument for measuring swing in votes during an election
sympiesometer instrument for measuring pressure of a current
synchroscope instrument for detecting whether two moving parts are synchronized
tacheometer instrument for rapidly measuring survey points on a map
tachistoscope instrument for rapidly showing images on a screen to test perception
tachograph instrument for recording speed of rotation
tachometer instrument for measuring speed of rotation
taseometer instrument for measuring stress in a structure
tasimeter instrument for measuring changes in pressure
taximeter instrument for measuring fee for hired vehicle
telemeter instrument for measuring strain or distance from observer
telescope instrument for viewing objects at great distances
telespectroscope instrument for analysing radiation omitted by distant bodies
telestereoscope instrument for viewing distant objects stereoscopically
tellurometer instrument using microwaves to measure distance
tenderometer instrument for measuring tenderness of fruits and vegetables
tensimeter instrument for measuring vapour pressure
tensiometer instrument for measuring tension
thalassometer instrument for measuring tides
thermograph instrument for recording changes in temperature
thermometer instrument for measuring temperature
thermometrograph instrument for recording changes in temperature
thermoscope instrument indicating change in temperature
thoracoscope instrument for viewing the thorax and chest wall
tiltmeter instrument for measuring tilting of earth's surface
tocodynamometer instrument for measuring uterine contractions during childbirth
tomograph instrument for viewing section of an object using X-rays
tonometer instrument measuring pitch of musical tones
topophone instrument to determine direction and distance of a fog-horn
torsiograph instrument for recording torsional vibrations on an object
transmissometer instrument for measuring transmission of light through a fluid
trechometer instrument for determining distance travelled; odometer
tremograph instrument for recording involuntary muscular motion
tribometer instrument measuring friction
trigonometer instrument for solving triangles
trocheameter instrument counting wheel's revolutions
tromometer instrument for measuring slight earthquake shocks
tropometer instrument measuring rotation
turbidimeter instrument for measuring turbidity of liquids
turgometer instrument for measuring turgidity
typhlograph instrument to help the blind write clearly
udometer instrument for measuring rainfall
ultramicroscope instrument for viewing extremely small objects
urethroscope instrument for viewing the interior of the urethra
urinometer instrument for measuring specific gravity of urine
vaporimeter instrument for measuring vapour pressure
variometer instrument for measuring magnetic declination
velocimeter instrument for measuring velocity
velometer instrument for measuring speed of air
viameter instrument for measuring revolutions of a wheel
vibrograph instrument for recording vibrations
vibrometer instrument for measuring vibrations
viscometer instrument for measuring viscosity
visometer instrument for measuring focal length of the eye
voltameter instrument for measuring electrical current indirectly
voltmeter instrument for measuring electrical potential
volumenometer instrument for measuring volume of a solid
volumeter instrument for measuring volume of a liquid or gas
wattmeter instrument for measuring electrical power
wavemeter instrument for measuring wavelengths
weatherometer instrument for measuring weather-resisting properties of paint
xanthometer instrument for measuring colour of sea or lake water
xylometer instrument measuring specific gravity of wood
zymometer instrument for measuring fermentation
zymosimeter instrument for measuring fermentation


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