A thermocouple consists of two wires of dissimilar metals welded together into a junction. At the other end of the signal wires, usually as part of the input instrument, is another junction called the reference junction. Heating the sensing junction generates a thermoelectric potential (emf) proportional to the temperature difference between the two junctions. This millivolt-level emf, when compensated for the known temperature of the reference junction, indicates the temperature at the sensing tip. Published millivolt tables assume the reference junction is at 0 degrees Celsius.