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Anders Celsius


The international scale for the measurement of temperature. Formerly called the centigrade scale, it was developed by Anders Celsius, a Swedish astronomer, in 1742. The Celsius scale is set as a linear function of the thermometric properties of pure water. The freezing point of water at 1 atm (sea level) is designated 0 C, while the boiling point of water is designated as 100 C. The one hundred degree differential gave the scale its first name of centigrade. In 1948, the centigrade scale was officially designated as the Celsius scale in honor of its creator.

The Celsius scale relates to the absolute Kelvin (K) scale by the equation:

T (C) = T (K) - 273-15.

The Celsius scale related to the archaic Fahrenheit (F) scale by the equation:

T (C) = 0.555 [T (F) -32 ].

Synonyms and Related Terms

C; centigrade (old wording)

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • ASTM, Standard Terminology Relating to Thermophysical Properties, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, E1142, 695-696, Jul-94
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998