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To a certain degree: Fahrenheit defines temperature

por Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | May 15, 2012
From the May 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Fahrenheit created the actual alcohol thermometer in 1709. But in 1714, he chose to swap the alcohol with mercury, a measuring medium capable of expanding and contracting. He also replaced the spherical bulbs with the more current cylindrical shape.

He eventually settled in The Hague, blowing glass, and creating, aside from thermometers, barometers and altimeters. In Amsterdam, he taught chemistry from 1718 onwards.

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In 1724, he introduced the Fahrenheit Scale and that same year was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. In his lifetime, Fahrenheit would also create a constant-weight hydrometer to measure the air’s moisture content, and a “thermobarometer” for estimating barometric pressure by ascertaining water’s boiling point.

Fahrenheit died aged 50 in Sept. 1736 in the Netherlands and was buried at The Hague’s Kloosterkerk (Cloister Church).

His scale was extensively used in Europe, until it was eclipsed by the Celsius scale in 1742. But Fahrenheit’s temperature scales and derivations of his thermometer continue to be utilized in the U.S. for everyday temperature measurements.

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