A thermocouple is a temperature-measuring device consisting of two dissimilar conductors that contact each other at one or more spots. It produces a voltage when the temperature of one of the spots differs from the reference temperature at other parts of the circuit. Thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensorfor measurement and control,and can also convert a temperature gradient into electricity. Commercial thermocouples are inexpensive,interchangeable, are supplied with standard connectors, and can measure a wide range of temperatures. In contrast to most other methods of temperature measurement, thermocouples are self powered and require no external form of excitation.