*** 20th Anniversary: 2003 to 2023 ***
by Courtney Adamen
Have a look at this old photograph. Approximately five years before he passed away, this famous scientist created this artwork.
Temperature scales have normally been defined by picking two points of interest, comparing their temperatures and sub-dividing it go get the scale. Any two will do. Body temperature or anything else that is consistent. That may have been a little more
It's better to have two temperatures that are further apart for defining the scale, rather than too similar. The idea of using the boiling and freezing points of water may seem a little obvious now but that probably wasn't always the case. They are not perfectly consistent, but the the greatest contribution from Celsius himself was finding a way to make them usable.
Using his knowledge of gases and mercury, Celsius developed a more accurate thermometer than those in use at the time. Celsius' thermometer works on the idea that a liquid's volume changes with temperature. He used mercury because it expands and contracts more predictably than other liquids.
Actually, the scale he invented wan inverted and had zero for boiling and 100 for freezing (for water). Celsius also noted that while he could determine the variations in the boiling point of water, dependent on ambient pressure, the freezing point did not vary significantly at all.
Meanwhile another scientist, Jean-Pierre Christin, came up with zero for freezing and 100 for boiling and had a matching thermometer designed. After that, Celsius also calibrated his thermometer by marking the freezing point at 0 degrees and the boiling point at 100 degrees and that has remained the scale's form
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Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo for the images.