Temperature and Temperature Scales
- Temperature is a measure of the motion of the individual atoms and molecules in a gas, liquid, or solid.
- If an object has a high temperature its constituents
are moving around energetically.
- In a gas at high temperature the individual gas
molecules are moving about independently at high speeds.
- In a solid at high temperature the individual atoms
of the solid are vibrating energetically in place.
- The converse is true for a "cold" object.
- In a gas at low temperature the individual gas
molecules are moving about sluggishly.
- There is an absolute zero temperature at which
the motions of atoms and molecules practically stop.
- A thermometer can be calibrated in a variety of arbitrary ways.
- The Farhenheit scale sets zero at the freezing point
of a salt-water mixture and 100 at body temperature -- not very
- Absolute zero is -459 degrees in this system.
- Room temperature is 70 degrees.
- The Celsius (or centigrade) scale sets zero
at the freezing point of pure water and 100 at the boiling point of
pure water -- a bit more scientific.
- Absolute zero is -273 degrees in the Celsius system.
- Room temperature is 20 degrees
- The Kelvin scale sets zero at the absolute zero of
temperature and uses degrees that are the same size as in the Celsius
- Absolute zero is 0 degrees in the Kelvin system.
- Room temperature is 293 degrees
- Astronomers and Physicists widely use the Kelvin
Created October 1, 1996