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Historical Temperature

  • Steven A. Treese
Chapter

Abstract

The concept of temperature was relatively slow to form among the base measurements. This chapter traces the history of temperature measurement from the earliest qualitative measures through the numerous attempts to develop a usable measurement scale, while the ability to actually determine temperature developed. The large number of alternative scales in use as late as the 19th century AD is reviewed. The number of scales has today been mostly reduced to the Kelvin/Celsius and Rankine/Fahrenheit scales. The development of the concept of absolute zero is explored. International standardization on the Kelvin and Celsius scales through the Système international d’unités (SI) or metric standards will continue progressing. This chapter also looks at the methods we use to measure temperatures in their historical contexts. It is hard to remember that temperature measurement was only qualitative until about 400 years ago. Precisely measuring and controlling temperatures has become a large part of our lives today.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gig HarborUSA

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