What is Temperature? – Scales, How is Measured, Types, and More

What is Temperature?

Temperature a scalar quantity defined as the amount of kinetic energy of a gaseous, liquid, or solid mass particles. The higher the speed of the particles, the higher it and vice versa.

Its measurement relates to the notion of cold (lower) and heat (higher), which can perceive instinctively.

And also, weather acts as a reference value to determine the human body’s normal heat, which use to estimate health states. Heat also use for chemical, industrial and metallurgical processes.

Scales  of Temperature

There are different types of scales to measure temperature. The most commons are:

The Celsius scale: It is also known as the “centigrade scale”, it is the most used along with the Fahrenheit scale. On this scale, the freezing point of water equals 0 ° C (zero degrees Celsius), and its boiling point is  100 ° C.

The Fahrenheit scale: It is the measure used in most English-speaking countries. On this scale, the freezing point of water occurs at 32 ° F (thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit) and its boiling point at 212 ° F.

The Kelvin scale: It is the measurement that usually uses in science and establishes “absolute zero” as the zero points, which means that the object does not give off any heat and is equivalent to -273.15 ° C (degrees centigrade).

The Rankine scale: It the commonly used measure in the United States for thermodynamic temperature measurement. And also, it defines by measuring degrees Fahrenheit above absolute zero, so it has no negative or sub-zero values.

How is the Temperature Measured?

Thermometric magnitudes measure it. That is, different units represent the temperature at different scales.

For this, a device called a “thermometer” use, of which several types depending on the phenomenon needs to measure, for example:

Dilation and Contraction

  • There are thermometers to measure gases ( constant pressure gas thermometer ), liquids ( mercury thermometer ) and solids (liquid column or bimetallic thermometer).
  • Which are elements that expand at high it or contract at low temperatures.

Variation of Electrical Resistance

  • Electrical resistances, that is, the flows of electrons that move through a conductive material, vary according to the temperature they acquire.
  • For its measurement, electrical resistance thermometers use, such as sensors (based on a resistance capable of transforming the electrical variation into a temperature variation).
  • And also, thermoelectric thermometers (which generate motive force).

Thermal Radiation Thermometer

  • Radiation phenomena emitted in the industrial sector can be measured using sensors such as infrared pyrometers (to measure very low refrigeration temperatures).
  • And also optical pyrometers (to measure high of furnaces and melting metals).

Thermoelectric Potential

  • The union of two different metals subjected to varying temperatures generates an electromotive force that converts into electrical potential and measured in volts.

Types of Temperature

There are different types of temperature and, therefore, they measure with other tools, such as:

Room Temperature

  • It can record in the spaces in which the human being develops. For its measurement, an environmental thermometer is used that uses Celsius or Fahrenheit values.

Body Temperature

  • It is the body temperature. 36 ° C is considered a normal value for humans, and if it exceeds 37 ° C (or 98 ° F), the individual deem to have a fever.
  • Other types of it measurement allow you to calculate the wind chill, for example:

The Dry Temperature

  • It is the ambient temperature, without taking into account the heat radiation of the environment and humidity. It measures with a bulb thermometer painted bright white so as not to absorb radiation.

The Radiant Temperature

  • It the close environment’s surfaces and walls and measure through a bulb thermometer.

The Humid Temperature

  • It measures a thermometer located in the shade, with its bulb wrapped with wet cotton and placed under a current of air. Through this system, the water in the cotton evaporates.
  • The heat absorbs, which generates a decrease in the thermometer’s concerning the ambient temperature. This results in a measure of air humidity that use to measure wind chill.

Difference between Heat and Temperature

Although heat and temperature are closely related concepts, they are not the same.

Some differences are:

It’s meaning: Heat is thermal energy that should understand as heat transfer, which occurs when there is a difference between two bodies.

This transfer always has one direction from the body with the highest temperature to the lowest temperature. On the other hand, the weather is a measure of the molecules’ average kinetic energy that make up matter.

Its symbol: Heat represents by the letter Q and the letter T.

Its effect: The transfer of heat to a body increases its. And also, it is the average kinetic energy of the particles in that body, which increases if heat gives to it.

Your transmission: Heat transmits from one substance to another and can spread by conduction, convection, or radiation. And also, depending on the type of heat propagation, it will be the temperature level reached.

Your object for measurement: Heat measure with a calorimeter, and it measures with a thermometer.

Your unit of measure: Heat measure in joules, calories, and kilocalories. It measures in degrees Kelvin (k), Celsius (C), or Fahrenheit (F).

Also Read: Technology in Sports – Definition, What are the Benefits, and More

Examples of Temperature

Some examples of temperatures are:

  • The engine temperature of a car that is running is 85 ° C.
  • And also, the ambient temperature, which considers comfortable, is between 20 ° and 25 ° C.
  • It of the oven to prepare a pizza is 180 ° C.
  • The temperature of the boiling water is 100 ° C.
  • The average body temperature is 36.5 ° C.
  • And also, it to reach the water’s solidification to the point of turning into ice is less than 0 ° C.
  • A “voltage regulator” located inside an electrical appliance prevents it from overheating or damaging the equipment.


It is related to the internal energy of thermodynamic systems, according to their particles’ movement. And also quantifies the activity of the molecules of the matter: the higher the sensible point, the higher it.

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