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FAHRENHEIT A PIONEER OF EXACT THERMOMETRY

Ulrich Grigull
Lehrustuhl A für Thermodynamik Technische Universität München 80290 München Germany

Abstract

1986 is the 300th anniversary of Fahrenheit's birth, reason enough to reflect upon the life and work of this man, whose temperature-scale - despite metrification - is still in use today in the English-speaking world.
There are two issues, in particular, which we might consider: On what basis did Fahrenheit's scale achieve such a widespread distribution? From where did he derive the striking temperature -values for his scale (32 for the ice-point and 212 for the steam - point), which belong neither to a metrical nor to a footpound - second - system?
Before dealing with his thermometers we need to consider the background of Fahrenheit's life.

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