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What is Kelvin?

Full Name: Kelvin

Category: Temperature

Symbol: K

Scale Factor: 4

Definition: The kelvin (formerly Kelvin degree), symbolized as K, is the temperature unit of scale created by William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, in 1848, on the basis of the degree Celsius, setting the zero point at absolute zero (-273.15 °C) and maintaining the same dimension. Lord Kelvin, at age 24 introduced the thermodynamic temperature scale, and the unit was named in his honor.

It is one of the units of the International System of Units and is a fraction of 1/273, 16 parts of the triple point temperature of water. It is represented by the letter K, and never "°K". Currently, his name is not "degrees Kelvin" but simply "kelvin".

Coinciding increased by one degree Celsius in a kelvin, its importance lies in the 0 of the scale: the temperature of 0 K is called 'absolute zero' and corresponds to the point at which the molecules and atoms have the same minimum thermal energy possible. No macroscopic system can have a lower temperature. The temperature measured in kelvin is called "absolute temperature", and is the temperature scale used in science, especially in physics or chemistry.

kelvin is also used in video and film lighting as reference for the color temperature. When a black body is heated emits light of different color according to the temperature at which it is located. Thus, each color can be associated to the temperature to which should be a black body to emit in that color. It should be emphasized that the color temperature of a body is unrelated to its actual temperature. For example, 1600 K color temperature corresponds to the rising or setting sun. The color temperature of a tungsten filament lamp is 2800 K. The temperature of the light used in photography and printing is 5000 K and the sun at noon with clear skies is 5200 K. The light of a cloudy day is blue and is over 6000 K.


Types of Temperature