What are the three commonly used temperature scales and how are they different?
The three common temperature scales in use today are the Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin scales.
The Fahrenheit Scale
The Fahrenheit temperature scale is based on 32 °F for the freezing point of water and 212 °F for the boiling point of water, with the interval between the two being divided into 180 parts.
The Celsius Scale
The Celsius temperature scale is based on 0 °C for the freezing point and 100 °C for the boiling point of water, with the interval between the two being divided into 100 parts.
The formula for converting a Celsius temperature to Fahrenheit is:
To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, use the formula
The Kelvin Scale
The solid, liquid, and gaseous phases of water can exist in equilibrium at 273.16 K (the triple point temperature).
The kelvin is defined as
This makes one kelvin the same size as one Celsius degree.
On the Kelvin scale, 0 K represents absolute zero, the temperature at which the molecules of a substance have their lowest possible energy.
Many physical laws and formulas can be expressed more simply by using the Kelvin scale.
Accordingly, the Kelvin scale has become the international standard for scientific temperature measurement.
The formula for converting a Celsius temperature to Kelvin is:
To convert Kelvin to Celsius, use the formula