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Temperature: Do You Want That in Celsius or Fahrenheit? (page 2)

By John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Dec 14, 2010

How can you tell the temperature? Without a thermometer, you have to rely on how you feel and how your body responds to the conditions. Sweating suggests that the temperature is high; shivering indicates cool temperatures. A thermometer makes it possible for you to accurately read the temperature. Two temperature scales are commonly used: Fahrenheit and Celsius. In this activity you will take readings from both types of thermometers.

Materials

Celsius thermometer
Fahrenheit thermometer
Beaker of ice water
Beaker of very warm (but not scalding) water

Activity

1. Place both thermometers on a table. After thirty seconds, read the thermometers. When you read a thermometer, your eyes should be level with the top of the fluid in the thermometer. Record the temperature on each thermometer.
2. Place both thermometers in the cup of ice water. After one minute, read the thermometers. Record the temperatures.
3. Place both thermometers in the cup of hot water. After one minute, read the thermometers. Record the temperatures.

Follow-Up Questions

1. What is the purpose of a thermometer?
2. On which thermometer is the boiling point 100° and the freezing point 0°?
3. Why would the following individuals need to be able to read a thermometer: farmers, auto mechanics, cooks, and nurses?

1. To determine temperature.
2. Celsius.

Extension

If you know the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, you can convert it to Celsius with this formula:

Celsius = 5/9 (F - 32)

The reverse is also true. To change from Celsius to Fahrenheit, use this formula:

Fahrenheit = 9/5C + 32

Use the first formula to convert 70°F to Celsius. Use the second formula to change 30°C to Fahrenheit.