# Columbia Encyclopedia

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## Kelvin temperature scale

(Encyclopedia)Kelvin temperature scale, a temperature scale having an absolute zero below which temperatures do not exist. Absolute zero, or 0K, is the temperature at which molecular energy is a minimum, and it c...

## Celsius temperature scale

(Encyclopedia)Celsius temperature scale sĕlˈsēəs [key], temperature scale according to which the temperature difference between the reference temperatures of the freezing and boiling points of water is divided ...

## absolute temperature scale

(Encyclopedia)absolute temperature scale: see Kelvin temperature scale; temperature. ...

## kelvin

(Encyclopedia)kelvin, abbr. K, official name in the International System of Units (SI) for the degree of temperature as measured on the Kelvin temperature scale. ...

## Rankine temperature scale

(Encyclopedia)Rankine temperature scale, temperature scale having an absolute zero, below which temperatures do not exist, and using a degree of the same size as that used by the Fahrenheit temperature scale. Absol...

## temperature

(Encyclopedia) CE5 Temperature scales temperature, measure of the relative warmth or coolness of an object. Temperature is measured by means of a thermometer or other instrument having a scale calibrated in unit...

## Kelvin, William Thomson, 1st Baron

(Encyclopedia)Kelvin, William Thomson, 1st Baron, 1824–1907, British mathematician and physicist, b. Belfast. He was professor of natural philosophy at the Univ. of Glasgow (1846–99). He is known especially for...

## expansion

(Encyclopedia)expansion, in physics, increase in volume resulting from an increase in temperature. Contraction is the reverse process. When heat is applied to a body, the rate of vibration and the distances between...

## International System of Units

(Encyclopedia)International System of Units, officially called the Système International d'Unités, or SI, system of units adopted by the 11th General Conference on Weights and Measures (1960). It is based on the ...

## absolute zero

(Encyclopedia)absolute zero, the zero point of the ideal gas temperature scale, denoted by 0 degrees on the Kelvin and Rankine temperature scales, which is equivalent to −273.15℃ and −459.67℉. For most gase...