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Historical Development

Rankine scale, standard atmospheric pressure, Kelvin scale, Celsius scale, melting point of ice

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>  The 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries

One of the earliest temperature scales was that devised by the German physicist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit. According to this scale, at standard atmospheric pressure, the freezing point (and melting point of ice) is 32° F, and the boiling point is 212° F. The centigrade, or Celsius scale, invented by the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, and used throughout most of the world, assigns a value of 0° C to the freezing point and 100° C to the boiling point. In scientific work, the absolute or Kelvin scale, invented by the British mathematician and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, is most widely used. In this scale, absolute zero is at -273.15°C, which is zero K, and the degree intervals are identical to those measured on the Celsius scale. The corresponding “absolute Fahrenheit” or Rankine scale, devised by the British engineer and physicist William J. M. Rankine, places absolute zero at 0°R, which is -459.67°F, and the freezing point at 491.67°R. A more consistent scientific temperature scale, based on the Kelvin scale, was adopted in 1933.

The 19th and 20th Centuries



Article key phrases:

Rankine scale, standard atmospheric pressure, Kelvin scale, Celsius scale, melting point of ice, British engineer, freezing point, boiling point, Centuries, value, According, world

 
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