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Temperature Scales

Temperature Scales

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson compares and contrasts the Kelvin, Fahrenheit, and Celsius temperature scales.

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Temperature is the measure of warmth or coldness of an object.  When numerical units are used to describe the warmth or coldness of an object, a temperature scale is needed. Three different temperature scales are used worldwide. 


Fahrenheit Temperature Scale

The common unit used in the United States

212° boiling point of water

32° freezing point of water


Celsius Temperature Scale

A scale used in places that metric units have been adopted.  The scale used for scientific research.

100° boiling point of water

0° freezing point of water


Kelvin Temperature Scale

Based on absolute zero as the lowest temperature on the Kelvin scale.  Absolute Zero is the theoretical temperature where molecules, the smallest particles of a pure substance, have their lowest energy.

373° boiling point of water

273° freezing point of water

Temperature Scales