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Temperature Conversions

Key Concepts

  • Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in an object.
        Adding energy, eg, heat, to an object increases the kinetic energy of the particles which is observed as an increase in temperature.
        When an object loses energy, kinetic energy of the particles decreases and is observed as a decrease in temperature.

  • Several temperature scales are in common use:
        Kelvin Scale based on the kelvin unit (K), the SI unit of temperature.
        Celsius Scale based on degrees Celsius (oC), closely related to the Centigrade scale.
        Fahrenheit Scale based on degrees Fahrenheit (oF), commonly used in North America.

  • Kelvin Scale is based on the following fixed points:
        The zero point is absolute zero, the lowest temperature theoretically obtainable.
        The temperature at which solid, liquid and gaseous water can coexist indefinitely (the triple-point temperature of water) is assigned a value of 273.16K

  • Celsius Scale is based on a triple-point temperature of water of 0.01oC, and at 1atm pressure a freezing point of 0.00oC and a boiling point of 100.00oC.
        Celsius units (oC) are the same size as kelvin units (K).

  • Fahrenheit Scale is based on a freezing point of water of 32oF and a boiling point of 212oF.

Temperature Conversions

  • Converting Celsius (oC) to kelvin (K)

    kelvin (K) = oC + 273.15

  • Converting kelvin (K) to Celsius (oC)

    oC = K - 273.15

  • Converting Fahrenheit (oF) to Celsius (oC)

    oC = 5/9 x (oF - 32)

  • Converting Celsius (oC) to Fahrenheit (oF)

    oF = (9/5 x oC) + 32

Examples of Temperature Conversions

  1. Convert 100oC to kelvin

    kelvin (K) = oC + 273.15

    K = 100 + 273.15 = 373.15K

  2. Convert 298.15K to Celsius

    oC = K - 273.15

    oC = 298.15 - 273.15 = 25oC

  3. Convert 212oF to Celsius

    oC = 5/9 x (oF - 32)

    oC = 5/9 x (212 - 32) = 100oC

  4. Convert 30oC to Fahrenheit

    oF = (9/5 x oC) + 32

    oF = (9/5 x 30) + 32 = 86oF

  5. Convert 80oF to kelvin

    Convert oF to oC
    oC = 5/9 x (oF - 32)
    oC = 5/9 x (80 - 32) = 26.67oC

    Convert oC to K
    K = oC + 273.15
    K = 26.67 + 273.15 = 299.82K

  6. Convert 293.15K to Fahrenheit

    Convert K to oC
    oC = K - 273.15
    oC = 293.15 - 273.15 = 20oC

    Convert oC to oF
    oF = (9/5 x oC) + 32
    oF = (9/5 x 20) + 32 = 68oF


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