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FACTS About Temperature for the thermally curious

Environment   Temperatures

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Resistance (RTDs)
IR Thermometers 
Optical Pyrometers
Radiation Thermometers
Thermal Imagers
Glass Thermometers
Filled Systems
Phase Change Devices 
(Paints, Crayons, Labels)

There are many significant temperature values that people need to know at various times, sometimes out of just curiosity, or, more often, because it is, or becomes, important for some reason. Like, when is a fever serious, or, what's the melting point of Iron? Some of these temperature values may be in the list below. It was fun to generate and you can or could find them yourself by doing just what we did, search the Web for them.

Perhaps the ones you seek are here, possibly not. You could do your own search and if you think it's really interesting let us know and there's a good chance we'll add it here with all due credit to you.

You will notice below that there are many more titles than active links. This page will be a work in progress for some time as we add to our list of temperature information beginning with the wish list that needs completion with a web site link or two!

If you have or find on the Web some interesting temperature facts, especially values, let us know. Send an email or a regular mail. Our contact information is listed on the  Contact page. We'll be happy to add them to this list and give you credit for the contribution.

A listing of interesting historic thermometer facts courtesy of Philadelphia Instruments and Controls, Inc. .

High Temperatures- High Pressures
A refereed journal that specializes in the topics described by its name. Has long been a source of excellent papers on high temperature topics in radiation thermometery- a publication of Pion, Ltd , London-UK.

The Celsius Temperature Scale
About the most widely used temperature scale in the world and its founder, Anders Celsius (Note: a very similar scale, the Centigrade Scale, dominated the world until 1968, when the new scale came about due to a revision in the fundamental reference point for the AbsoluteTemperature Scale was changed from the freezing point of water to the triple point of water; a difference of only 0.01 Degrees C. It was enough of a change to warrant a new name for the temperatures measured more commonly in science, industry and commerce).

Fahrenheit's and Olaus Roemer's Thermometers
From the Rutgers University web.

Temperature Scales
The International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90) is the current standard used in the industrialized world by international convention. This page gives a bit more explanation of this plus previous scales and their relationships to each other.

Thanks for visiting. 

Temperatures of Note:

Can you estimate how hot something is just by touching it? Obviously one would not touch anything that is so hot that it glows or is incandescent. Almost as obvious, one would not really be safe touching something that is hot but not incandescent if it were, say, at about 250 °C or 480°F. In such a case the resulting burn could be very serious. However, usually one feels the heat from a sub-incadescent object well before the urge to touch becomes too great. The human sense of heat sensation can help us estimate about how hot an object that is slightly warm or cold.

If an object is near human body temperature, it will feel warm or cold according to how large the difference is between the surface temperature of one's skin and the object. Objects at about 54 to 55°C (130°F) will usually result in a sensation of warmth that is on the threshold of pain: it's really hot!. So, please be careful touching things just to gauge their temperature unless you have a very good reason to believe they are near to your body temperature of about 36°C or 98°F.

Temperatures of Note:

Threshold of Pain Temperature: About 54 °C or 130°F.

The World Record for the Lowest Temperature measured on Earth is 1/2 a billionth of a kelvin above Absolute Zero, or 0.0000000000005 K, reported by a team from MIT in ScienceWorld on Sept 12, 2003.

Temperature and Absolute Zero A really clever and easy to understand presentation (it's brief and animated, too) on the subject including a mention of the previous World Recod for the World's Lowest Temperature of a few billionths K.

Food safety & food temperatures

Food safety
A Federal Government/Private Sector Partnership Web Site-(has more than a passing relationship to temperature measurement and temperature sensors)

Shopper's Guide to Plastics & Food: Microwave Ovens
"Plastic plus hot plus fat is the worst combination. That's because most chemicals that leach from plastic are lipophilic (they love fat) and high temperature speeds up the leaching process into the fat." According to a toxicologist on a website that asks the question: Is it safe to microwave food in plastics?

Elemental (not elementary) temperatures

Melting (Freezing) temperatures of the elements
Courtesy of Horizon Technology -- MELTING AND BOILING POINTS OF THE ELEMENTS Web site page.

Boiling (Vaporization) temperatures of the elements
Courtesy of Horizon Technology -- MELTING AND BOILING POINTS OF THE ELEMENTS Web site page.

Physical properties of the Elements in the Periodic Table vs temperature in six different languages
A downloadable program from The Web site at The Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty Of Chemical Technology, Split, Teslina, Croatia.

Temperatures around the world.

The Globe Program-A unique science education site that features interesting aspects of global temperatures, teaching aids and much more. from the USA agency NOAA.

World Temperature Extremes
The highest and lowest temperatures recorded at various places around the world from Africa and Antartica to Western Australia and every individual state in the USA. (Just for interest this site's webmaster was present near Tower Minnesota on January 12, 1996 when the record for the lowest temperature in the Continental USA was set there and even has the custom Baseball cap to prove it!)

Earth's greenhouse "effect", Global Warming and key temperatures. What is the true scoop? Some say it is real, others say balderdash!

Still Waiting For Greenhouse
A lukewarm view of Global Warming from John Daley in Tasmania!

The USA's Environmental Protection Agency Global Warming Site
The Official US Government site on the subject of Global Warming.

The Rest of The Story
From Carnegie-Mellon University a perspective on the issue of global warming and what's really important.

Water/Marine and Earth Surface Temperatures

World Climate
What the weather is normally for thousands of towns and cities worldwide!

Near Real Time Sea Surface Temperature
Discussion of the Earth's hydrosphere, as displayed by the Smithsonian Earth Today exhibit.

Sea Surface Temperature Satellite Image Archive
This page provides access to the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography's archive of sea surface temperature satellite images. These images are processed Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data from NOAA satellites. The images depict sea surface temperature.

DOE's Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) Satellite Home Page
MTI's spectral bands are carefully selected to collect data needed to derive a broad range of information on facilities and activities, including surface temperatures, materials, water quality, and vegetation health. To enhance accuracy, additional bands provide simultaneous information on atmospheric water vapor, aerosol content, and sub-visual cloud presence. A recent presentation discussed how Earth surface temperatures can be measured from space with an calibration accuracy of a few degrees.

NOAA's Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis
The optimum interpolation (OI) sea surface temperature (SST) analysis is produced weekly on a one-degree grid. The analysis uses in situ and satellite SST plus SST's simulated by sea-ice cover.

NASA's Visible Earth-Oceans
Sea Surface Temperatures, Water temperature and much more from NASA'a many observing platforms.

Modern Average Global Sea-Surface Temperature
U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series DDS-10. The purpose of this data set is to provide paleoclimate researchers with a tool for estimating the average seasonal variation in sea-surface temperature (SST) throughout the modern world ocean and for estimating the modern monthly and weekly sea-surface temperature at any given oceanic location. The data contained in this data set are derived from the NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Multichannel Sea Surface Temperature data (AVHRR MCSST), which are obtainable from the Distributed Active Archive Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. The JPL tapes contain weekly images of SST from October 1981 through December 1990 in nine regions of the world ocean: North Atlantic, Eastern North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Agulhas, Indian, Southeast Pacific, Southwest Pacific, Northeast Pacific, and Northwest Pacific.

Canadian Weather Office - Atlantic Marine Conditions
More than water temperatures with links to other Canadian marine conditions:- Pacific Coast, - North of 60, - Prairie Lakes, - James Bay, - Ontario Lakes and St. Lawrence

Temperatures and depths and more about the Great Lakes in the USA.

A different look at temperature from a friendly website on temperature by Alan Parker.

Service Temperatures for various plastics and other materials.

Sortable Materials Properties Table
From Boedeker Plastics, Inc., covering plastics materials from ABS to Vespel SP-21 (graphite), including Specific Gravity ,Tensile Strength, Tensile Elongation at Break , Flexural Strength, Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion, Heat Deflection Temperature, Max Recommended Use Temperature, Thermal Conductivity, UL94 Flammability Rating , UL rating and Dielectric Strength

Max. permitted temperature limit for Plastics in incandescent lighting fixtures according to IEC 598–1 (°C)
From Vossloh-Schwabe, a large manufacturer of electrical and electronic components for the lighting industry.

Max. permitted temperature limit for Thermoplastics used in fluorescent lighting according to IEC 598–1 (°C)

From Vossloh-Schwabe, a large manufacturer of electrical and electronic components for the lighting industry.

Maximum use temperature of thermocouples.

Electrical resistivity of platinum, nickel and copper as a function of temperature.

Electrical coefficients of resistance of some ceramics at high temperatures.

Electrical coefficients of resistance as a function of temperature for some metals and alloys.

Mechanical properties of materials as a function of temperature.

Ignition temperatures of various materials.


etc. etc. (to be continued)

Good luck and best wishes. If you have some interesting success, let us know and we'll help you share that with others who visit these pages.

Just for FUN..... Changing LINKS, A unique web site that provides some diversion for web surfers with ever changing links.
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