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The Kelvin scale is the absolute temperature scale that is commonly used in science. The SI temperature unit is the kelvin , which is abbreviated K (not accompanied by a degree sign). Thus 0 K is absolute zero. The freezing and boiling points of water are 273.15 K and 373.15 K, respectively. Therefore, temperature differences are the same in units of kelvins and degrees Celsius, or Δ T C = Δ T K .

The relationships between the three common temperature scales are shown in [link] . Temperatures on these scales can be converted using the equations in [link] .

Figure shows Farhenheit, Celsius and Kelvin scales. In that order, the scales have these values: absolute zero is minus 459, minus 273.15 and 0, freezing point of water is 32, 0 and 273.15, normal body temperature is 98.6, 37 and 310.15, boiling point of water is 212, 100 and 373.15. Zero degree F is minus 17.8 degree C and 255.25 degree K. The relative sizes of the scales are shown on the right. A difference of 9 degrees F is equivalent to 5 degrees C and 5 degrees K.
Relationships between the Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin temperature scales are shown. The relative sizes of the scales are also shown.
Temperature conversions
To convert from… Use this equation…
Celsius to Fahrenheit T F = 9 5 T C + 32
Fahrenheit to Celsius T C = 5 9 ( T F 32 )
Celsius to Kelvin T K = T C + 273.15
Kelvin to Celsius T C = T K 273.15
Fahrenheit to Kelvin T K = 5 9 ( T F 32 ) + 273.15
Kelvin to Fahrenheit T F = 9 5 ( T K 273.15 ) + 32

To convert between Fahrenheit and Kelvin, convert to Celsius as an intermediate step.

Converting between temperature scales: room temperature

“Room temperature” is generally defined in physics to be 25 ° C . (a) What is room temperature in ° F ? (b) What is it in K?

Strategy

To answer these questions, all we need to do is choose the correct conversion equations and substitute the known values.

Solution

To convert from ° C to ° F , use the equation

T F = 9 5 T C + 32 .

Substitute the known value into the equation and solve:

T F = 9 5 ( 25 ° C ) + 32 = 77 ° F .

Similarly, we find that T K = T C + 273.15 = 298 K .

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The Kelvin scale is part of the SI system of units, so its actual definition is more complicated than the one given above. First, it is not defined in terms of the freezing and boiling points of water, but in terms of the triple point    . The triple point is the unique combination of temperature and pressure at which ice, liquid water, and water vapor can coexist stably. As will be discussed in the section on phase changes, the coexistence is achieved by lowering the pressure and consequently the boiling point to reach the freezing point. The triple-point temperature is defined as 273.16 K. This definition has the advantage that although the freezing temperature and boiling temperature of water depend on pressure, there is only one triple-point temperature.

Second, even with two points on the scale defined, different thermometers give somewhat different results for other temperatures. Therefore, a standard thermometer is required. Metrologists (experts in the science of measurement) have chosen the constant-volume gas thermometer for this purpose. A vessel of constant volume filled with gas is subjected to temperature changes, and the measured temperature is proportional to the change in pressure. Using “TP” to represent the triple point,

T = p p TP T TP .

The results depend somewhat on the choice of gas, but the less dense the gas in the bulb, the better the results for different gases agree. If the results are extrapolated to zero density, the results agree quite well, with zero pressure corresponding to a temperature of absolute zero.

Constant-volume gas thermometers are big and come to equilibrium slowly, so they are used mostly as standards to calibrate other thermometers.

Visit this site to learn more about the constant-volume gas thermometer.

Summary

  • Three types of thermometers are alcohol, liquid crystal, and infrared radiation (pyrometer).
  • The three main temperature scales are Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin. Temperatures can be converted from one scale to another using temperature conversion equations.
  • The three phases of water (ice, liquid water, and water vapor) can coexist at a single pressure and temperature known as the triple point.

Conceptual questions

If a thermometer is allowed to come to equilibrium with the air, and a glass of water is not in equilibrium with the air, what will happen to the thermometer reading when it is placed in the water?

The reading will change.

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Give an example of a physical property that varies with temperature and describe how it is used to measure temperature.

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Problems

While traveling outside the United States, you feel sick. A companion gets you a thermometer, which says your temperature is 39. What scale is that on? What is your Fahrenheit temperature? Should you seek medical help?

That must be Celsius. Your Fahrenheit temperature is 102 ° F . Yes, it is time to get treatment.

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What are the following temperatures on the Kelvin scale?

(a) 68.0 ° F, an indoor temperature sometimes recommended for energy conservation in winter

(b) 134 ° F, one of the highest atmospheric temperatures ever recorded on Earth (Death Valley, California, 1913)

(c) 9890 ° F, the temperature of the surface of the Sun

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(a) Suppose a cold front blows into your locale and drops the temperature by 40.0 Fahrenheit degrees. How many degrees Celsius does the temperature decrease when it decreases by 40.0 ° F ? (b) Show that any change in temperature in Fahrenheit degrees is nine-fifths the change in Celsius degrees

a. Δ T C = 22.2 ° C ; b. We know that Δ T F = T F2 T F1 . We also know that T F2 = 9 5 T C2 + 32 and T F1 = 9 5 T C1 + 32 . So, substituting, we have Δ T F = ( 9 5 T C2 + 32 ) ( 9 5 T C1 + 32 ) . Partially solving and rearranging the equation, we have Δ T F = 9 5 ( T C2 T C1 ) . Therefore, Δ T F = 9 5 Δ T C .

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An Associated Press article on climate change said, “Some of the ice shelf’s disappearance was probably during times when the planet was 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) warmer than it is today.” What mistake did the reporter make?

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(a) At what temperature do the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales have the same numerical value? (b) At what temperature do the Fahrenheit and Kelvin scales have the same numerical value?

a. −40 ° ; b. 575 K

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A person taking a reading of the temperature in a freezer in Celsius makes two mistakes: first omitting the negative sign and then thinking the temperature is Fahrenheit. That is, the person reads x ° C as x ° F . Oddly enough, the result is the correct Fahrenheit temperature. What is the original Celsius reading? Round your answer to three significant figures.

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Questions & Answers

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jyotirmayee Reply
is it possible to increase the temperature of a gas without adding heat to it?
gurpreet Reply
I'm not sure about it, but I think it's possible. If you add some form of energy to the system, it's a possibility. Also, if you change the pression or the volume of the system, you'll increase the kinetic energy of the system, increasing the gas temperature. I don't know if I'm correct.
playdoh
For example, if you get a syringe and close the tip(sealing the air inside), and start pumping the plunger, you'll notice that it starts getting hot. Again, I'm not sure if I am correct.
playdoh
you are right for example an adiabatic process changes all variables without external energy to yield a temperature change. (Search Otto cycle)
Brad
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Arzoodan
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To know surfaces below graphs.
Jan
To find a Primitive function. Primitive function: a function that is the origin of another
playdoh
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Dharmdev
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Dharmdev
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Arzoodan
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Dharmdev
to find the area under a graph or to accumulate .e.g. sum of momentum over time is no etic energy.
Naod
Z is alt.,dZ altv difference
Arzoodan
what is the Elasticty
Heeran Reply
it is the property of the by virtue of it regains it's original shape after the removal of applied force (deforming force).
Prema
property of the material
Prema
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Eric Reply
what is calorimeter
odionyenma Reply
heat measuring device
Suvransu
What is mean electric potential
Biren Reply
Electric density formula
Biren Reply
Int E•dA
Vineet
what is relation betweeen potential energy of a system and work done in bringing last chaege from infinity
Shikhar Reply
Einstein and his general theory of relativity, a very nice concept,which revolutionize our modern world.
Antares Reply
what's the theory of relativity?
Piyali
it related to universe time period
jyotirmayee
it is a theory in which time is taken as relative,for diff. motion of objects.
Antares
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jyotirmayee
it is E=mc'square
jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
E=mc^2 is just a reln which sums up everything dude
Antares
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Piyali
m not dude
jyotirmayee
e for speed of light
jyotirmayee
c for speed of light
jyotirmayee
m for mass of object
jyotirmayee
black hole is a super massive object in space gravitation pull of which s so strong dt evn light cannot escape. John wheeler 1st detected it, n concept of it ws given by Einstein himself from his general theory of relativity. Basically v cn si 3 types of it super massive, interstellar n intermediate
Antares
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jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
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Piyali
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jyotirmayee
black holes formed when the centre of very massive star collapsed itself
jyotirmayee
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Antares
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jyotirmayee
in most of d cases black holes r formed by massive collapsed star or star system
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jyotirmayee
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Antares
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KRANTHI
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Antares
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jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
quantum mechanics is the study of the photon the light particle
Agrim
actually E=mc^2 is only the rest energy of the object and a simplified version of the expansion that covers momentum and objects close to the speed of light
Brad
quantum mechanics is the study of sub atomic particles
Brad
all formula for calculate specific latent heat of any substance
Idowu Reply
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Yoblaze
mass multiplied with latent heat of a substance
Yoblaze
you both?
jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
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jyotirmayee
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Piyali
what is dipole moment
Bilal Reply
it is the product of electric charges and distance between the two charges
Shikhar
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Ssempala
product of separation of the poles, the rest shikhar got is right
Brad
brad is separation and distance ,are they different?
Ssempala
What is actually a dipole? I know charge separated by a certain distance.... but what does that really mean? what happens in a dipole? why are the charge of same magnitude?
Monalisa
Dipoles forming as a result of the unbalanced distribution of electrons in asymmetrical molecules
Heeran
What is dielectric
Ashis Reply
its a type of medium. generally poor conductors. but their conductivity can be changed
vedanth
you just have to add impurities
vedanth
Thanks
Ssempala
grt
Ssempala
a material which behave as conductor
Shikhar
insulating material, energy level for electron transfer is very high e.g used to increase a magnetic field in a capacitor
Brad
What is the difference between specific heat capacity and heat capacity? Give the equations
elly Reply
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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