A shift in temperature

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Abstract

On August 9, 1968, the President signed the Metric Systems Study Bill, PL 90-472, and investigations are now being conducted under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce.

If it should be decided that sometime we shall shift from the Fahrenheit temperature scale to a metric one, it must also be decided whether the Celsius or the Kelvin scale is to be used. In European countries, this is a difficult problem since the population is so well accustomed to the freezing temperature being zero and boiling temperature being 100. In this country, we are in a more favorable situation: freezing and boiling temperatures have odd numbers in the Fahrenheit system anyhow; and to change from 32 to 273, and from 212 to 372 seems to be less difficult. Thus, why not skip the intermediate step of going from Fahrenheit to Celsius? We could go all the way from Fahrenheit to Kelvin. The reaction of the concerned community to this suggestion might prove interesting.

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