Temperature – Temperature Conversion Formulas, History and Definition including Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin and Rankine

Topics Covered

Background

The Fahrenheit Temperature Scale

The Celsius/Centigrade Temperature Scale

The Kelvin Temperature Scale

The Rankine Temperature Scale

Temperature Table

Background

Temperature is a property of matter which reflects the quantity of energy of motion of the component particles. There are several scales used to measure this value (e.g., Kelvin, Celsius, Fahrenheit and Rankine).

The Fahrenheit Temperature Scale

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) invented the mercury thermometer in 1714. He also created the Fahrenheit temperature scale, a practical temperature scale where 0°F and 100°F corresponded to the coldest and hottest temperatures encountered in Western Europe.

Under the Fahrenheit temperature scale, water freezes at 32°F and 212°F.

The Fahrenheit scale is still widely used in America, although not in many other places.

Conversion

Formula

°C °F

 

K °F

 

 

°R °F

 

 

Where

 

TF = Temperature in °F

TC = Temperature in °C

TK = Temperature in Kelvin

TR = Temperature in °R

The Celsius/Centigrade Temperature Scale

The centigrade temperature scale was devised by Anders Celsius in 1744. According to the centigrade temperature scale water freezes at O°C and boils at 100°C.

While the units were originally called degrees centrigrade, they were renamed degrees Celsius in 1948.

Conversion

Formula

°F °C

 

K °C

 

 

°R °C

 

 

Where

 

TF = Temperature in °F

TC = Temperature in °C

TK = Temperature in Kelvin

TR = Temperature in °R

The Kelvin Temperature Scale

In 1848 William Thomson devised the Kelvin temperature scale which was derived based on thermodynamics, where 0K corresponds to absolute zero, or the coldest temperature theoretically possible and 273.15K is the freezing point of water. While zero has been reassigned according to the Kelvin temperature scale, the base unit of the Kelvin temperature scale is the same as the centigrade scale.

In 1954, the Kelvin temperature scale was selected as the metric unit of thermodynamic measure. In 1967, the unit of the Kelvin temperature scale was changed from degrees Kelvin (°K) to simply Kelvin (K).

Conversion

Formula

°F K

 

°C K

 

 

°R K

 

 

Where

 

TF = Temperature in °F

TC = Temperature in °C

TK = Temperature in Kelvin

TR = Temperature in °R

The Rankine Temperature Scale

In 1859, William John Rankine devised the Rankine thermodynamic temperature scale which, like the Kelvin scale assigned its zero value to thermodynamic absolute zero, but used the 1F as its base unit. Temperatures in the Rankine scale are denoted °R.

Conversion

Formula

°F °R

 

K °R

 

 

°C °R

 

 

Where

 

TF = Temperature in °F

TC = Temperature in °C

TK = Temperature in Kelvin

TR = Temperature in °R

Temperature Table

K

°C

°F

°R

0

-273.15

459.67

0

 

 

 

 

73.15

-200

-328

131.67

173.15

-100

-148

311.67

273.15

0

32

491.67

373.15

100

212

671.67

473.15

200

392

851.67

573.15

300

572

1031.67

673.15

400

752

1211.67

773.15

500

932

1391.67

873.15

600

1112

1571.67

973.15

700

1292

1751.67

1073.15

800

1472

1931.67

1173.15

900

1652

2111.67

1273.15

1000

1832

2291.67

 

 

 

 

255.37

-17.78

0

459.67

310.93

37.8

100

559.67

366.48

93.33

200

659.67

422.04

148.89

300

759.67

477.59

204.44

400

859.67

533.15

260

500

959.67

588.71

315.56

600

1059.67

644.26

371.11

700

1159.67

699.82

426.67

800

1259.67

755.37

482.22

900

1359.67

810.92

537.78

1000

1459.67

 

Primary author: AZoM.com

 

Date Added: May 16, 2006 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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