Temperature scales


In 1714, Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, a Dutch insturment maker, put forward a temperature scale based on the human body temperature. He took zero degree fahrenheit (0°F) to be the lowest temperature that he could reach with a mixture of salt and water, the freezing point of water he marked at 30°F later he changed to 32°F and the bodies temperature at 90°F. On this scale the boiling point of water is 212°F, which means that there is 180°F between freezing point and boild point of water. This is one of the reasons that it is not used in science except in America.

In 1742, Anders Celsius, a Swedish scientist, created a temperature scale by dividing the freezing and boiling points of water into 100 degrees. Initally Celsius chose 0° as the boiling point of water and 100° as the freezing point but this was later reversed to produced the centigrade scale with 0° as the freezing point of water and 100° as the boiling point of water. Celsius or Centigrade scale are still used widely today.

In 1848, Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin of Scotland, proposed the absolute temperature scale with zero degrees being the theorical lowest temperature possible where molecular motion stops. The lowest possible temperature as measured on the celsius scale is -273.16°C. One Kelvin is equal to one degree celsius, which means that 0°C is 273.16 kelvin. The Kelvin scale is the current standard unit for measuring temperature.


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