List of Important Scientific Instruments


A scientific instrument is a device or tool used for scientific purposes, including the study of both natural phenomena and theoretical research.

Instruments are increasingly based upon integration with digital world i.e. Computers/Phones to improve, enhance and extend the instrumental functions.

Below is the list of famous scientific instruments:

S.No. Instrument Description
1 Altimeter A special type of aneroid barometer, used in measuring altitudes.
2 Ammeter An instrument to measure the strength of an electric current.
3 Anemometer An instrument to measure the velocity and direction of the wind.
4 Audiometer An instrument to measure difference in hearing.
5 Barometer An instrument used for measuring atmospheric pressure.
6 Binoculars An optical instrument designed for magnified view of distant objects by both eyes simultaneously.
7 Calorimeter An instrument for measuring quantities of heat.
8 Cat Scanner A machine for photographing a selected plane of human body using X-rays. The computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scanner is a ring shaped X-ray machine that rotates through 180 degree around the patient, who lies on a horizontal plane, making numerous X-ray measurements every few degrees. The information is processed by a computer to produce the final image.
9 Chronometer A clock that keeps very accurate time.
10 Clinical Thermometer A thermometer for measuring the temperature of human body.
11 Colorimeter An instrument for comparing intensities of colour.
12 Computer A technical device designed to find instantaneous solutions of huge and complex calculations based on the information already fed.
13 Cryometer A thermometer used for measuring very low temperatures close to 0 degree k.
14 Dynamometer An electrical instrument used for measuring very small potential difference and electric currents without appreciably changing current in circuits.
15 Electroscope An instrument for detecting the presence of electric charge.
16 Endoscope An optical instrument for internal examination by direct vision through a lighted tube fitted with a system of lenses.
17 Galvanometer An instrument for measuring electric current.
18 Hydrometer An instrument for measuring the relative density of liquids.
19 Hydrophone An instrument for measuring sound under water.
20 Hygrometer An instrument for measuring the relative humidity of the atmosphere.
21 Hygroscope An instrument to show the changes in atmospheric humidity.
22 Lactometer An instrument for measuring the relative density of milk.
23 Magnetometer An instrument used to compare the magnetic moments and fields.
24 Manometer An instrument to measure the pressure of gases.
25 Mariner’s Compass An apparatus for determining direction, graduated to indicate 32 directions. The “N” point on the dial indicates north pole and the “S” point, south pole.
26 Micrometer An instrument for magnified view of very small objects.
27 Olfactometer An instrument for testing the sense of smell.
28 Ophthalmoscope An instrument for inspecting the inside of the eye, especially for the diagnosis of eye diseases.
29 Oxygenator An apparatus by which oxygen is introduced into blood during circulation outside the body, as during open heart surgery.
30 Periscope An apparatus for viewing objects lying above the eye level of the observer and whose direct vision is obstructed.
31 Photometer An instrument for comparing the luminous intensity of the sources of light.
32 Plantimeter A mechanical integrating instrument to measure area of plane surface.
33 Pyrometers Thermometers to measure high temperatures.
34 Quadrant An instrument for measuring altitudes and angles in navigation and astronomy.
35 Quartz Clock A highly accurate clock used in astronomical observations and other precision work.
36 Radio Micrometer An instrument for measuring heat radiations.
37 Rain Gauge An instrument for measuring rainfall.
38 Refractometer An instrument used to measure the refractive index of a substance.
39 Resistance Thermometer A thermometer for measuring high temperatures.
40 Seismograph An instrument used for recording the intensity and origin of earthquake shocks.
41 Sextant An instrument used for measurement of angular distances between two objects.
42 Spectroscope An instrument used for spectrum analysis.
43 Spherometer An instrument used for accurately measuring the curvature of spherical objects.
44 Sphygmomanometer An apparatus for measuring blood pressure.
45 Stereoscope An optical device to view specially taken two dimensional pictures as having depth and solidity.
46 Stroboscope An instrument used for viewing the objects moving rapidly with a periodic motion and to see them as they were at rest.
47 Tangent Galvanometer An instrument for measuring the strength of direct current.
48 Telemeter An apparatus for recording physical even happening at a distance.
49 Teleprinter A communication medium for automatic sending, receiving and printing of telegraphic messages from distance places.
50 Telescope An instrument for viewing distance objects as Magnified.
51 Television An instrument used for viewing distant objects by means of wireless waves.
52 Thermometer An instrument to measure the temperature.
53 Thermostat An automatic device for maintaining constant temperatures.
54 Transistor A small device which may be used to amplify currents and perform other functions once performed by thermionic valve.
55 Vernier An adjustable scale for measuring distances upto the smallest sub-division of the scale.
56 Voltmeter An instrument to measure potential difference between two points.


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