|Other Unit(s)||ºC, ºR|
|0 ºC in ...||... is equal to ...|
|SI unit(s)||273.15 ºC
|Imperial/US unit(s)||32 ºF
|Other unit(s)||491.67 ºR|
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A temperature is an objective comparative measurement of hot or cold. It is measured by a thermometer. Several scales and units exist for measuring temperature, the most common being Celsius (denoted °C; formerly called centigrade), Fahrenheit (denoted °F), and, especially in science, Kelvin (denoted K).
The coldest theoretical temperature is absolute zero, at which the thermal motion of atoms and molecules reaches its minimum – classically, this would be a state of motionlessness, but quantum uncertainty dictates that the particles still possess a finite zero-point energy. Absolute zero is denoted as 0 K on the Kelvin scale, −273.15 °C on the Celsius scale, and −459.67 °F on the Fahrenheit scale.
The Celsius scale (°C) is used for common temperature measurements in most of the world. It is an empirical scale. It developed by a historical progress, which led to its zero point 0°C being defined by the freezing point of water, with additional degrees defined so that 100°C was the boiling point of water, both at sea-level atmospheric pressure. Because of the 100 degree interval, it is called a centigrade scale.
Since the standardization of the Kelvin in the International System of Units, it has subsequently been redefined in terms of the equivalent fixing points on the Kelvin scale, and so that a temperature increment of one degree Celsius is the same as an increment of one Kelvin, though they differ by an additive offset of 273.15. The United States commonly uses the Fahrenheit scale, on which water freezes at 32°F and boils at 212°F at sea-level atmospheric pressure.
Many scientific measurements use the Kelvin temperature scale (unit symbol: K), named in honor of the Scottish physicist who first defined it. It is a thermodynamic or absolute temperature scale. Its zero point, 0K, is defined to coincide with the coldest physically-possible temperature (called absolute zero). Its degrees are defined through thermodynamics. The temperature of absolute zero occurs at 0K = −273.15°C (or −459.67°F), and the freezing point of water at sea-level atmospheric pressure occurs at 273.15K = 0°C.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Temperature", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.