Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin

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May Xiao 1H
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin

Postby May Xiao 1H » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:38 pm


I'm curious why we have different unit system for temperature. I understand that Celsius is related to H2O and Kelvin measures absolute zero. Why don't we replace Fahrenheit with other units? Or unify all of them into one?

Thanks so much for anyone who would like to answer this :)) It's not a very scientific question but I'm a little confused

Nicoline Breytenbach 3D
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Re: Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin

Postby Nicoline Breytenbach 3D » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:19 am

Basically, the US (as well as Myanmar and Liberia) are the only countries that still use the imperial system for measurements, including Fahrenheit. Fahrenheit started as a British colonial measurement hundreds of years ago, but by now both the UK and all of its former colonies (except the US) have switched to the metric system and Celsius, which is a more logical system.
So in answer to your question, the vast majority of the world only uses Celsius and Kelvin (Celsius being more practical for day to day temperature measurements, while Kelvin is typically used for scientific measurements). I don't know why the US hasn't switched yet, but it probably has something to do with our nation's stubbornness and the difficulty and expenses involved in switching the whole country to a different system of measurement. And obviously the rest of the world isn't going to change back to Fahrenheit, so we'll just have to keep converting between them until the US finally decides to switch over (if they ever do).
I agree that it is pretty annoying to have to make conversions all the time xD

Ibrahim Malik 1H
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Re: Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin

Postby Ibrahim Malik 1H » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:16 am

I think the temperature measurement of Fahrenheit is so ingrained into the US standard of measurement that it would be inconvenient and awkward for the US to suddenly change their standard of measurement for temperature.

Emily Li 4A
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin

Postby Emily Li 4A » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:24 pm

I was actually reading an article about this a few weeks ago! The above reason is true; we've been using this system for so long that adopting the metric system would just cause a huge amount of confusion. If you think about it more, that confusion could also cause some economic problems (though on how dire they can get, I'm not sure myself). We would have to buy new road signs, stop the production of certain thermometers (if it gets to a point where we realize they're not useful anymore), and relabel all sorts of products which would waste time and therefore money.

Even if we did suddenly change to the metric system, I think the customary system would still hang around for a while because we're comfortable with it.

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