Fahrenheit temperature scale


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Fahrenheit temperature scale

(fâr`ənhīt'), temperaturetemperature,
measure of the relative warmth or coolness of an object. Temperature is measured by means of a thermometer or other instrument having a scale calibrated in units called degrees. The size of a degree depends on the particular temperature scale being used.
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 scale in which the temperature difference between two reference temperatures, the melting and boiling points of water, is divided into 180 equal intervals called degrees. The freezing point is taken as 32°F; and the boiling point as 212°F;. The scale was established by the German-Dutch physicist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit in 1724. William John Macquorn RankineRankine, William John Macquorn
, 1820–72, Scottish engineer and physicist. Serving as a professor of engineering at the Univ. of Glasgow from 1855, he made valuable contributions to civil and mechanical engineering as well as to thermodynamics.
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 used it as the basis of his absolute temperature scale, now called the Rankine temperature scaleRankine temperature scale,
temperature scale having an absolute zero, below which temperatures do not exist, and using a degree of the same size as that used by the Fahrenheit temperature scale.
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, in 1859. Although the Fahrenheit scale was formerly used widely in English-speaking countries, many of these countries began changing to the more convenient Celsius temperature scaleCelsius temperature scale
, temperature scale according to which the temperature difference between the reference temperatures of the freezing and boiling points of water is divided into 100 degrees.
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 in the late 1960s and early 1970s; a notable exception is the United States, where the Fahrenheit scale is still in common use together with other English units of measurement. Temperatures on the Fahrenheit scale can be converted to equivalent temperatures on the Celsius scale by first subtracting 32° from the Fahrenheit temperature, then multiplying the result by 5-9, according to the formula (F−32) 5-9=C.