Thermocouple polynomials and other sundries

I was looking up something on the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) web site the other day and ran across thermocouple polynomials. I wondered what that could be, assuming “thermocouple” was a metaphor for some algebraic property. No, it refers to physical thermocouples. The polynomials are functions for computing voltage as a function of temperature, and temperature as a function of voltage, for a variety of types of thermocouples. See the NIST ITS-90 Thermocouple Database.

I keep running into NIST’s eclectic collection of useful information. Three examples:

I wonder what’s going to take me back to NIST next.