Vidhi's Leisure Space

The Three Temperature Siblings - Kelvin, Celsius, & Fahrenheit


what’s temperature?

temperature is related to the particle motion, ie, the vibration of substances at its atomic level.

the faster the atoms vibrate, they higher their temperatures are. so all heat is caused by vibration of the particles, aka, their motion.

what’s so special about 0 kelvin?

0 kelvin is the coldest it can get, which means the scale does not (and cannot) go in the negative axis. if temperature directly correlates to the vibration of the particles, then 0 kelvin is what is achieved when they do not move at all and are completely still.

at 0 kelvin, the motion and energy are zero, ergo, the atoms are completely still, and since we cannot go below than that (there is no less movement than nothing), it is the absolute minimum temperature that is theoretically possible.

why is the absolute temperature ‘zero’ - to convenient to be a coincidence, isn’t it?

physics is not man-made, however, its representation is.

measuremenets are relative, not absolute. when we say something is 1 meter long, it is only ‘1’ meter because in a nutshell, the people who designed the scaling system held up their arms and went: ‘so this much is going to be 1 unit of length, let’s call it a meter’.

the kelvin scale was built consciously to have the absolute coldest to be zero so that all theoretically possible temperatures could be represented with positive numbers. the benefit being only having to deal with positive numbers which would make related calculations easier.

why aren’t celsius and fahrenheit zero-based scales?

both celsius and fahrenheit scales are based on physical properties of water - its freezing and boiling points. if the two scales are based off on the same thing, how come they still differ? the difference in the scale can be attributed to the fact that they did not use the same water.

fahrenheit was built on a mixture called ‘brine’, a mix of water, ice, and salt (doubtful of the actual mixture composition btw). now i am not exactly sure of how fahrenheit came about to being. some say that it was actually based on/for human body temperature, thus the values around 100 degree F tells a lot about whether a person is experiencing a fever.

since kelvin’s absolute zero based scale is not really ideal when it comes to measuring daily-life temperatures, celsius and fahrenheit are what people usually go with, and since fahrenheit is primarily only being backed up by and used by the united states, i’d say celsius is what people usually go with.