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Stargazing A to Z. K is for...


The Kelvin scale is an absolute thermodynamic temperature scale using as its null point absolute zero, the temperature at which all thermal motion ceases in the classical description of thermodynamics.

The Kelvin scale is named after the Belfast-born, Glasgow University engineer and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824–1907), who wrote of the need for an "absolute thermometric scale". Unlike the degree Fahrenheit and degree Celsius, the kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree. The kelvin is the primary unit of temperature measurement in the physical sciences, but is often used in conjunction with the degree Celsius, which has the same magnitude. The definition implies that absolute zero (0 K) is equivalent to −273.15 °C (−459.67 °F).

For expressing temperature difference or interval, using kelvins instead of degrees Celsius helps to avoid situations, when people mistake such quantities for Celsius temperature.

Source: Wikipedia


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