When to use Kelvin or Celsius

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Andrew Nguyen 2I
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When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Andrew Nguyen 2I » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:24 pm

When T is being used in an equation - is there a set rule for when to use Kelvin or Celsius, or any time it is better to use either of the two?

Mitch Mologne 1A
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Mitch Mologne 1A » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:36 pm

For the most part, in thermochem we use a change in temperature, which means either kelvin or celsius will work considering they use the same scale. That being said, the ideal gas law uses kelvin.

Shanmitha Arun 1L
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Shanmitha Arun 1L » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:25 pm

For many cases, Kelvin is used but it really just depends on the problem and the units given.

Harrison Wang 1H
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Harrison Wang 1H » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:18 pm

It depends on the units of the constants in the problem. For example, in a problem that gives molar heat capacity, you would use kelvin, whereas in a problem that gives specific heat capacity, you would use celsius. If no preference is stated, than either or is fine.

siannehazel1B
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby siannehazel1B » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:27 pm

when you're doing a problem that calls for the change in temperature it doesn't matter what units you use because the difference in temp will be the same no matter what units you're in, but the problem should specify what units if they are needed.

Angel Ni 2K
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Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:01 am

Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Angel Ni 2K » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:29 pm

If the equation requires deltaT, then it doesn't matter whether you use K or C. If the equation requires T and not deltaT, then usually you will need to use K. Make sure to keep track of your units and that after cancelling, your ending units are actually what you are looking for.

Nhan Nguyen 2F
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Nhan Nguyen 2F » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:37 pm

If no preference stated, I think we should use Kelvin since it's more applicable to a lot of thermodynamic problems.

Naomi Jennings 2H
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Naomi Jennings 2H » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:18 pm

In addition, for entropy you have to use Kelvin, because in the equation you aren't using delta T, you are using T, so multiplying the other terms by 25 (degrees celsius) will get a much different result than multiplying the other terms by 298 (degrees kelvin). In contrast, for a problem asking for delta T, 25-0 (degrees celsius) = 25 degrees C, and 298K - 273K = 25K, so in both cases you multiply the other terms by 25.

Elizabeth Bamishaye 2I
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Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Elizabeth Bamishaye 2I » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:21 pm

Yes, I agree with all of the responses above because at some point I was thinking about this as well. It really depends on what you are given in the problem and what you have to look for.

Sarah Wax 1G
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Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:00 am

Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby Sarah Wax 1G » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:07 pm

Everyone posting in this forum is correct. Usually, when using deltaT, it doesn't matter whether you use K or C because a change in temperature for either will result in the same numbers. However, when using just T in an equation, you need to use the other labels in order to determine whether or not the other units use K or C.

soniatripathy
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

Re: When to use Kelvin or Celsius

Postby soniatripathy » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:55 pm

The most important thing to consider in these cases are the units of the constants and given values. This will help you determine if you need to use K or C because you might need to get some of the units to cancel out. i think for things like deltaT either should be fine because they are both scaled the same so the difference would be the same


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