There’s a lot of confusion about how to describe the temperature. Some people say it’s hot when it’s above 70°F (21°C), while others say it’s cold when it’s below 60°F (16°C). To make matters worse, some people say that 69 degrees is warm and 60 degrees is cool.
It’s not surprising that there’s confusion about this issue. In much of the United States, the standard measure for reporting temperatures is in Fahrenheit degrees, which has its origins in the work of German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736). His scale is based on the freezing point and boiling point of water — two fixed points at 32°F (0°C) and 212°F (100°C). But the Fahrenheit scale has some shortcomings: It doesn’t have a standard unit for expressing temperatures between 32° and 212°; nor does it have a standard unit for expressing extremely low temperatures.
The Celsius scale developed by Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-1744) was based on an entirely different principal: It divides the temperature range into 100 equal intervals between zero and 100 degrees Celsius. The Kelvin scale was developed by British physicist William Thomson.
Last modified: November 16, 2022