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How Temperature Scales Measure the Temperature?

Do you need to know if you should put on a coat before going out? Do you want to see if you can bake the cookies? Temperature scales allow you to quantify and measure how hot or cold a material is. There are three major temperature scales used around the world – Fahrenheit and Celsius are commonly used in everyday measurements, while the absolute zero-based Kelvin and Rankine scales are more commonly used in industry and the science, as they are not much common.

How Temperature Scales Measure the Temperature?

Types of temperature scales

As already mentioned, there are three main types of temperature scales:

  • Fahrenheit scale
  • Celsius scale
  • Kelvin scale

What is Fahrenheit scale?

How Temperature Scales Measure the Temperature?

The Fahrenheit temperature scale is based on 32, for the freezing point of water and 212, for the boiling point of water, with the interval between the two divided into 180 parts. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, a German physicist, began his scale with the temperature of an equal ice-salt mixture and chose values of 30 and 90 for the freezing point of water and normal body temperature, respectively; these were later revised to 32 and 96, but the final scale required an adjustment to 98.6 for the latter value. The formula for converting a temperature expressed on the Celsius to Fahrenheit is equivalent to:

F = 9/5C + 32

At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water freezes, and at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it boils. The Fahrenheit temperature scale includes negative temperatures (temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit). The absolute zero temperature is -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit.

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What is Celsius scale?

How Temperature Scales Measure the Temperature?

The Celsius temperature scale is also known as the centigrade temperature scale. It is based on zero for the freezing point of water and one hundred for the boiling point of water. It was invented by the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius and is sometimes referred to as the centigrade scale due to the 100-degree interval between the defined points. The following formula can be used to convert a temperature from its Fahrenheit to Celsius value:

C = 5/9 (F – 32)

Because of the arrangement of the boiling and freezing points, each degree Fahrenheit is 1.8 times the size of a degree Celsius. Celsius, like Fahrenheit, includes negative temperatures. Absolute zero is -273.15 degrees Celsius.

What is Kelvin scale?

How Temperature Scales Measure the Temperature?

In the International System of Measurement (SI), the Kelvin temperature scale is the base unit of thermodynamic temperature measurement. It is defined as (1 / 273.16) of pure water’s triple point (equilibrium between the solid, liquid, and gaseous phases). The kelvin is also the fundamental unit of the Kelvin scale, which was named after the British physicist William Thomson, Baron Kelvin. Such a scale has absolute zero as its zero point, which is the theoretical temperature at which the molecules of a substance have the least energy. The simple formula to change a value from Kelvin to Celsius is:

0 K − 273.15 = -273.1°C

Kelvin was created in order to set the zero point of temperature scale at the absolute zero. As a result, absolute zero is 0 K – Kelvin does not use degrees in its notation. By adding 273.15 to a Celsius temperature, you can convert Celsius to Kelvin. Water freezes at 273.15 degrees Celsius and boils at 373.15 degrees Celsius. Kelvin temperature is widely used in scientific equations and calculations due to its direct relationship to absolute zero. For example, the ideal gas law, which is used to demonstrate the relationship between mass, pressure, temperature, and volume, employs Kelvin as its standard unit.

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What is Rankine scale?

How Temperature Scales Measure the Temperature?

The Rankine scale, while not widely used, provides an absolute zero-based equivalent to the Fahrenheit scale. It is essentially the Fahrenheit scale’s equivalent of the Celsius scale’s Kelvin. The scale was developed shortly after the Kelvin scale by Scottish scientist William John Rankine. Temperatures in Fahrenheit can be converted to Rankine by adding 459.67. As a result, absolute zero is found at 0 degrees Rankine. Water freezes at 491.67 degrees Fahrenheit and boils at 671.67 degrees Fahrenheit.

1°F + 459.67 = 460.67°R

32°F + 459.67 = 491.67°R

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