Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit

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Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit small.jpg
Fahrenheit, the originator of the era of precision thermometry.
Born24 May 1686 (14 May Old Style)
Died16 September 1736(1736-09-16) (aged 50)
Known for Precision thermometry
Alcohol thermometer
Mercury-in-glass thermometer (first reliable thermometer)
Fahrenheit scale (first widely used standardized temperature scale)
Fahrenheit hydrometer
Scientific career
Fields Physics (thermometry)
Signature
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit Signature.svg
Fahrenheit's birthplace in Gdansk (Danzig) Gdansk - Kamienica Fahrenheita.JPG
Fahrenheit's birthplace in Gdańsk (Danzig)
House where Gabriel Fahrenheit died in 1736, at Plein square, The Hague House where Gabriel Fahrenheit died in 1736, at Plein square, The Hague; img01.jpg
House where Gabriel Fahrenheit died in 1736, at Plein square, The Hague

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit FRS ( /ˈfærənht/ ; German: [ˈfaːʁənhaɪt] ; 24 May 1686 – 16 September 1736) [1] was a physicist, inventor, and scientific instrument maker. Fahrenheit was born in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), then a predominantly German-speaking Hanseatic city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but lived most of his life in the Dutch Republic (1701–1736) and was one of the notable figures in the Golden Age of Dutch science and technology.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

An inventor is a person who creates or discovers a new method, form, device or other useful means that becomes known as an invention. The word inventor comes from the Latin verb invenire, invent-, to find. The system of patents was established to encourage inventors by granting limited-term, limited monopoly on inventions determined to be sufficiently novel, non-obvious, and useful. Although inventing is closely associated with science and engineering, inventors are not necessarily engineers nor scientists.

Contents

A pioneer of exact thermometry, [2] he helped lay the foundations for the era of precision thermometry by inventing the mercury-in-glass thermometer (first practical, accurate thermometer) and Fahrenheit scale (first standardized temperature scale to be widely used). [3] In other words, Fahrenheit's inventions ushered in the first revolution in the history of thermometry (branch of physics concerned with methods of temperature measurement). From the early 1710s until the beginnings of the electronic era, mercury-in-glass thermometers were among the most reliable and accurate thermometers ever invented. [4]

Mercury-in-glass thermometer Type of thermometer

The mercury-in-glass or mercury thermometer was invented by physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in Amsterdam (1714). It consists of a bulb containing mercury attached to a glass tube of narrow diameter; the volume of mercury in the tube is much less than the volume in the bulb. The volume of mercury changes slightly with temperature; the small change in volume drives the narrow mercury column a relatively long way up the tube. The space above the mercury may be filled with nitrogen gas or it may be at less than atmospheric pressure, a partial vacuum.

Thermometer Device to measure temperature

A thermometer is a device that measures temperature or a temperature gradient. A thermometer has two important elements: (1) a temperature sensor in which some change occurs with a change in temperature; and (2) some means of converting this change into a numerical value. Thermometers are widely used in technology and industry to monitor processes, in meteorology, in medicine, and in scientific research.

Fahrenheit unit of temperature

The Fahrenheit scale is a temperature scale based on one proposed in 1724 by German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736). It uses the degree Fahrenheit as the unit. Several accounts of how he originally defined his scale exist. The lower defining point, 0 ℉, was established as the freezing temperature of a solution of brine made from equal parts of ice, water and a salt. Further limits were established as the melting point of ice (32 ℉) and his best estimate of the average human body temperature. The scale is now usually defined by two fixed points: the temperature at which water freezes into ice is defined as 32 ℉, and the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 ℉, a 180 ℉ separation, as defined at sea level and standard atmospheric pressure.

Biography

Fahrenheit was born in Danzig, then in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but lived most of his life in the Dutch Republic. The Fahrenheits were a German Hanse merchant family who had lived in several Hanseatic cities. Fahrenheit's great-grandfather had lived in Rostock, and research suggests that the Fahrenheit family originated in Hildesheim. [5] Daniel's grandfather moved from Kneiphof in Königsberg (present-day Kaliningrad) to Danzig and settled there as a merchant in 1650. His son, Daniel Fahrenheit (the father of Daniel Gabriel), married Concordia Schumann, daughter of a well-known Danzig business family. Daniel was the eldest of the five Fahrenheit children (two sons, three daughters) who survived childhood. His sister, Virginia Elisabeth Fahrenheit, married Benjamin Krüger and was the mother of Benjamin Ephraim Krüger, a clergyman and playwright. [6]

Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Former European state

The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th- to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered almost 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million. Polish and Latin were the two co-official languages.

Dutch Republic Republican predecessor state of the Netherlands from 1581 to 1795

The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or simply United Provinces, and commonly referred to historiographically as the Dutch Republic, was a confederal republic formally established from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first fully independent Dutch nation state.

Hanseatic League Trade confederation in Northern Europe

The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.

Daniel Gabriel began training as a merchant in Amsterdam after his parents died on 14 August 1701 from eating poisonous mushrooms. However, Fahrenheit's interest in natural science led him to begin studies and experimentation in that field. From 1717, he traveled to Berlin, Halle, Leipzig, Dresden, Copenhagen, and also to his hometown, where his brother still lived. During that time, Fahrenheit met or was in contact with Ole Rømer, Christian Wolff, and Gottfried Leibniz. In 1717, Fahrenheit settled in The Hague as a glassblower, making barometers, altimeters, and thermometers. From 1718 onwards, he lectured in chemistry in Amsterdam. He visited England in 1724 and was the same year elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. [7] From August 1736 Fahrenheit stayed in the house of Johannes Frisleven at Plein square in The Hague, in connection with an application for a patent at the States of Holland and West Friesland. At the beginning of September he became ill and on the 7th his health had deteriorated to such an extent that he had notary Willem Ruijsbroek come to draw up his will. On the 11th the notary came by again to make some changes. Five days after that Fahrenheit died at the age of fifty. Four days later he received a fourth-class funeral, which meant that he was destitute, in the Kloosterkerk in The Hague. (the Cloister or Monestary Church) [8] [9] [10]

Amsterdam Capital of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland. Amsterdam is colloquially referred to as the "Venice of the North" due to its large number of canals which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

<i>Amanita phalloides</i> Poisonous fungus in the family Amanitaceae, widely distributed across Europe

Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Widely distributed across Europe, but now sprouting in other parts of the world, A. phalloides forms ectomycorrhizas with various broadleaved trees. In some cases, the death cap has been introduced to new regions with the cultivation of non-native species of oak, chestnut, and pine. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) appear in summer and autumn; the caps are generally greenish in colour with a white stipe and gills. Cap colour is variable, including white forms, and thus not a reliable identifier.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Fahrenheit scale

According to Fahrenheit's 1724 article, [11] [12] he determined his scale by reference to three fixed points of temperature. The lowest temperature was achieved by preparing a frigorific mixture of ice, water, and a salt ("ammonium chloride or even sea salt"), and waiting for the eutectic system to reach equilibrium temperature. The thermometer then was placed into the mixture and the liquid in the thermometer allowed to descend to its lowest point. The thermometer's reading there was taken as 0 °F. The second reference point was selected as the reading of the thermometer when it was placed in still water when ice was just forming on the surface. [13] This was assigned as 32 °F. The third calibration point, taken as 96 °F, was selected as the thermometer's reading when the instrument was placed under the arm or in the mouth. [14]

Temperature physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold

A temperature expresses hot and cold, as measured with a thermometer. In physics, hotness is a body's ability to impart energy as heat to another body that is colder.

A frigorific mixture is a mixture of two or more phases in a chemical system that, so long as none of the phases is consumed during equilibration, reaches an equilibrium temperature that is independent of the starting temperature of the phases before they are mixed. The equilibrium temperature is also independent of the quantities of the phases used as long as sufficient amounts of each are present to reach equilibrium without consuming one or more.

Ice water frozen into the solid state

Ice is water frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color.

Fahrenheit came up with the idea that Mercury boils around 300 degrees on this temperature scale. Work by others showed that water boils about 180 degrees above its freezing point. The Fahrenheit scale later was redefined to make the freezing-to-boiling interval exactly 180 degrees, [11] a convenient value as 180 is a highly composite number, meaning that it is evenly divisible into many fractions. It is because of the scale's redefinition that normal body temperature today is taken as 98.6 degrees, [15] whereas it was 96 degrees on Fahrenheit's original scale. [16]

A highly composite number is a positive integer with more divisors than any smaller positive integer has. The term was coined by Ramanujan (1915). However, Jean-Pierre Kahane has suggested that the concept might have been known to Plato, who set 5040 as the ideal number of citizens in a city as 5040 has more divisors than any numbers less than it.

The Fahrenheit scale was the primary temperature standard for climatic, industrial and medical purposes in English-speaking countries until the 1970s, nowadays replaced by the Celsius scale long used in the rest of the world. [17]

See also

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Réaumur scale temperature scale

The Réaumur scale, also known as the "octogesimal division", is a temperature scale for which the freezing and boiling points of water are defined as 0 and 80 degrees respectively. The scale is named for René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, who first proposed a similar scale in 1730.

The Rømer scale, also known as Romer or Roemer, is a temperature scale named after the Danish astronomer Ole Christensen Rømer, who proposed it in 1701. It is based on the freezing point of pure water being 7.5 degrees and the boiling point of water as 60 degrees.

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The term degree is used in several scales of temperature. The symbol ° is usually used, followed by the initial letter of the unit, for example “°C” for degree(s) Celsius. A degree can be defined as a set change in temperature measured against a given scale, for example, one degree Celsius is one hundredth of the temperature change between the point at which water starts to change state from solid to liquid state and the point at which it starts to change from its gaseous state to liquid.

The International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90) published by the Consultative Committee for Thermometry (CCT) of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) is an equipment calibration standard for making measurements on the Kelvin and Celsius temperature scales. ITS-90 is an approximation of the thermodynamic temperature scale that facilitates the comparability and compatibility of temperature measurements internationally. It specifies fourteen calibration points ranging from 0.65±0 K to 1357.77±0 K and is subdivided into multiple temperature ranges which overlap in some instances. ITS-90 is the latest of a series of International Temperature Scales adopted by CIPM since 1927. Adopted at the 1989 General Conference on Weights and Measures, it supersedes the International Practical Temperature Scale of 1968 and the 1976 "Provisional 0.5 K to 30 K Temperature Scale". CCT has also adopted a mise en pratique in 2011. The lowest temperature covered by ITS-90 is 0.65 K. In 2000, the temperature scale was extended further, to 0.9 mK, by the adoption of a supplemental scale, known as the Provisional Low Temperature Scale of 2000 (PLTS-2000).

Temperature measurement recording of temperature

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A medical thermometer is used for measuring human or animal body temperature. The tip of the thermometer is inserted into the mouth under the tongue, under the armpit, into the rectum via the anus, into the ear, or on the forehead.

Meteorological instrumentation measuring device used in meteorology

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Celsius Scale and unit of measurement for temperature

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Fahrenheit hydrometer

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Rectal thermometry is taking a person's temperature by inserting a thermometer into the rectum via the anus. This is generally regarded as the most accurate means of temperature-taking, but some may consider it to be an invasive or humiliating procedure. Thus, it is often used sparingly and primarily on infants, children, or adults for whom taking an oral temperature would risk injury or be inaccurate.

Scale of temperature is a way to measure temperature quantitatively. Empirical scales measure the quantity of heat in a system in relation to a fixed parameter, a thermometer. They are not absolute measures, that is why scales vary. Absolute temperature is thermodynamic temperature because it is directly related to thermodynamics. It is the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics that leads to a formal definition of thermodynamic temperature.

Jean-Pierre Christin 18th-century French scientist

Jean-Pierre Christin was a French physicist, mathematician, astronomer and musician. His proposal in 1743 to reverse the Celsius thermometer scale was widely accepted and is still in use today.

References

  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fahrenheit, Gabriel Daniel"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. Grigull, Ulrich (1966). Fahrenheit, a Pioneer of Exact Thermometry. (The Proceedings of the 8th International Heat Transfer Conference, San Francisco, 1966, Vol. 1, pp. 9–18.)
  3. Encyclopædia Britannica: "Science & Technology: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit"
  4. Knake, Maria (April 2011). "The Anatomy of a Liquid-in-Glass Thermometer". AASHTO re:source, formerly AMRL (aashtoresource.org). Retrieved 4 August 2018. For decades mercury thermometers were a mainstay in many testing laboratories. If used properly and calibrated correctly, certain types of mercury thermometers can be incredibly accurate. Mercury thermometers can be used in temperatures ranging from about -38 to 350°C. The use of a mercury-thallium mixture can extend the low-temperature usability of mercury thermometers to -56°C. (...) Nevertheless, few liquids have been found to mimic the thermometric properties of mercury in repeatability and accuracy of temperature measurement. Toxic though it may be, when it comes to LiG [Liquid-in-Glass] thermometers, mercury is still hard to beat.
  5. Kant, Horst (1984). G. D. Fahrenheit / R. -A. F. de Réaumur / A. Celsius. B. G. Teubner. Retrieved 14 June 2008.
  6. See the Fahrenheit and Krueger genealogies.
  7. "The Royal Society Archive catalogue". Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  8. Star, Pieter van der: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit's Letters to Leibniz and Boerhaave. Rodopi Publishers, Amsterdam 1983. ISBN   9062920675
  9. "The Kloosterkerk". The Kloosterkerk. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  10. Zuiden, D.S. van: Het Testament en de Inboedel van Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, in: “Oud-Holland”, pp. 123-130, Binger Publishers, Amsterdam 1913
  11. 1 2 "Fahrenheit temperature scale". Sizes, Inc. 10 December 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  12. Fahrenheit describes, in Latin, these numerical choices in the following paper: Fahrenheit, D. G. (1724). "Experimenta et Observationes de Congelatione aquae in vacuo factae". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 33 (381–391): 78–84. doi:10.1098/rstl.1724.0016.
  13. Heath, Jonathan. "Why does the Fahrenheit scale use 32 degrees as a freezing point?". PhysLink. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  14. Burdge, Julia (10 January 2014). Chemistry: Atoms First. McGraw-Hill. p. 11. ISBN   9780077646479 . Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  15. MacKowiak, Philip A. (1992). "A Critical Appraisal of 98.6°F, the Upper Limit of the Normal Body Temperature, and Other Legacies of Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich". JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 268 (12): 1578–80. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490120092034. PMID   1302471.
  16. Elert, Glenn; Forsberg, C; Wahren, LK (2002). "Temperature of a Healthy Human (Body Temperature)". Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. 16 (2): 122–8. doi:10.1046/j.1471-6712.2002.00069.x. PMID   12000664 . Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  17. Zimmermann, Kim Ann (24 September 2013). "Fahrenheit: Facts, History & Conversion Formulas" . Retrieved 16 September 2017.

Further reading