Temperature

Why Do People Still Use Fahrenheit?

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Most people reading this use Celsius as their temperature scale. Fahrenheit is only used in the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Palau, and the United States and associated territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands). So why is this arbitrary scale still in use? Hear the story of Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in the video below, then learn more about temperature measurements.

Fahrenheit, Explained

Uncover why this seemingly arbitrary measurement was ever created.

Share the knowledge!

Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin

What's the difference between the three? Learn in this super speedy video.

Celsius Didn't Invent Celsius

Celsius never devised, nor used the scale that now bears his name. Here's what really happened.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Celsius had his scale upside down from the scale we use today, as did his predecessor. That's to avoid negative numbers. 01:15

  2. Its origins are unclear, but we do know that by 1745, there was a thermometer at Upsala University with the Celsius scale we know today. 02:27

  3. Celsius was the first to establish which physical processes could reliably produce a fixed temperature. Past scales had used wildly unreliable standards. 04:28

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement