Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why America Still Uses Fahrenheit

Why does America still use the Fahrenheit system to measure temperature, when the rest of the world uses Celsius? I figured it was because we are lazy and don't want to learn a whole new system. Vox looks more deeply into the question, although yeah, it turns out I was right. Fahrenheit is just one of the ways Americans are holdovers for Imperial measurements, when the rest oft he world is using the metric system. And Americans will stay on the Imperial system until someone finds a way to make the conversion profitable. (via Laughing Squid

1 comment:

Don said...

Farenheit used the ice/salt bath like describe to set his zero mark. He set his 100 mark to be body temperature. 100 equal divisions, and that is how freezing was found to be 32 and boiling to be 212. He didn't arbitrarily set those marks. This was important. Scientists couldn't go out and buy thermometers. They had to build them. By providing those calibration marks, Farenheit was able to describe in writing how to build a thermometer to people in other places that would produce results similar to the ones he was getting. Celsius did the same thing, but used freezing point of water as his zero and boiling point of water as his 100. While there may be economic advantages to converting our weight and measurement systems to metric, I am not convinced there is any economic advantage for the general public to leave the Fahrenheit scale for temperature measurement. Not confusing people raised with the Celsius scale isn't a good enough reason for me to switch.