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A thermocouple is formed by a contact of two (2) dissimilar conductors. The voltage across thermocouple is governed by Seebeck effect. Thermocouples are widely used as temperature sensors.

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The voltage in a thermocouple is a function of the difference between the temperature of the "hot" and "cold" parts of the thermocouple. If there is no temperature difference then there is no voltage … . See Wikipedia about thermocouple for details. That is why that in order to have absolute readings one needs to employ "cold-junction compensation". …
answered Jun 18 '12 by mazurnification