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Fahrenheit, Gabriel Daniel

temperature water boiling discovered

[fah renhiyt] (1686–1736) German physicist: developed the mercury thermometer and the Fahrenheit temperature scale.

Fahrenheit worked as a glassblower in Holland, specializing in the construction of meteorological instruments. He succeeded in improving the reliability and accuracy of the alcohol thermometers of the day and in 1714 constructed the first successful mercury thermometer, following work on the thermal expansion of the metal. Using these instruments he discovered that different liquids each have their own characteristic boiling point, which varies with atmospheric pressure. He also discovered the phenomenon of supercooling of water, whereby water may be chilled a few degrees below its freezing point without solidification.

He is best remembered, however, for devising the Fahrenheit scale of temperature, which used as its reference points the melting temperature of a mixture of ice and salt (the lowest temperature he could obtain), and the temperature of the human body. This range was subdivided into 96 equal parts, with the freezing point of water falling at 32°F and the boiling point at 212°F.

Fairfax, Edward (c. 1575–1635) - BIOGRAPHY, MAJOR WORKS AND THEMES, CRITICAL RECEPTION [next] [back] Fadlallah, Muhammad Husayn (1935–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, The Rise of the Shi’ites, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

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