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Celsius vs. Fahrenheit: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 17, 2023
Celsius is a temperature scale where 0° represents the freezing point and 100° the boiling point of water. Fahrenheit sets 32° for freezing and 212° for boiling of water.

Key Differences

Celsius, often denoted as °C, is a widely accepted temperature scale used internationally, particularly in scientific contexts. Its main defining points are the freezing and boiling points of water, which are set at 0°C and 100°C respectively. This scale was previously known as "centigrade" due to its 100-degree interval between the freezing and boiling points.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
On the other hand, Fahrenheit, represented as °F, is the temperature scale predominantly used in the United States and its territories. In this scale, the freezing point of water is at 32°F, and the boiling point is at 212°F. This difference in reference points results in a unique temperature conversion formula between the two scales.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
While Celsius tends to be more intuitive for those thinking in base-10 due to its relation to the metric system, Fahrenheit offers finer gradations between degrees, which some argue gives a better "feel" for temperature in everyday life. For instance, in Fahrenheit, ambient temperatures for most inhabited regions on Earth typically fall between 0° and 100°, offering a sense of scale.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
Historically, the Fahrenheit scale was proposed earlier, in the early 18th century, by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. The Celsius scale came a few decades later, introduced by Anders Celsius. Over time, the world largely transitioned to Celsius for consistency, especially after the adoption of the metric system, while the U.S. retained Fahrenheit for customary measurements.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Comparison Chart

Freezing Point of Water

0°C
32°F
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
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Boiling Point of Water

100°C
212°F
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Historical Origin

Proposed by Anders Celsius in the 18th century
Introduced by Daniel Fahrenheit in the 18th century
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Usage

Used internationally, especially in science
Predominantly used in the United States
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

Gradation

100 degrees between freezing and boiling points
180 degrees between freezing and boiling points
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Celsius and Fahrenheit Definitions

Celsius

A metric temperature scale with water's freezing and boiling points as references.
The average room temperature is around 20° Celsius.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023
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Fahrenheit

A temperature scale with 32° as water's freezing point and 212° as its boiling point.
On a warm summer day, it might reach 85° Fahrenheit in New York.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Celsius

A successor to the "centigrade" scale, now known as Celsius.
Though it's now called Celsius, older literature might refer to it as centigrade.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Fahrenheit

The customary temperature scale in the United States and its territories.
Weather reports in the U.S. provide temperatures in Fahrenheit.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Celsius

A system where every 1°C change corresponds to a change of 1 kelvin.
A difference of 10 degrees Celsius is also a 10 kelvin difference.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Fahrenheit

A scale that provides a seemingly finer gradation in ambient temperatures.
Fahrenheit gives a wide range, with human-friendly temperatures between 0° and 100°.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Celsius

The international standard for temperature measurement in most countries.
Forecasts in Europe are typically given in Celsius.
Huma Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Fahrenheit

A temperature scale in which every 1°F change does not correspond linearly to Celsius or Kelvin changes.
To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, you can't just add or subtract a fixed number; you need a formula.
Huma Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Celsius

A scale particularly used in scientific contexts due to its metric alignment.
Laboratory experiments often record results in Celsius for global consistency.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

Fahrenheit

A system introduced in the 18th century by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit.
Daniel Fahrenheit's legacy lives on in the U.S. with the continued use of his temperature scale.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Celsius

Of or relating to a temperature scale that registers the freezing point of water as 0° and the boiling point as 100° under normal atmospheric pressure. See Table at measurement.
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

Fahrenheit

Of or relating to a temperature scale that registers the freezing point of water as 32° and the boiling point as 212° at one atmosphere of pressure. See Table at measurement.
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

Celsius

Alternative case form of Celsius
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

Fahrenheit

Conforming to the scale used by Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit in the graduation of his thermometer; of or relating to Fahrenheit's thermometric scale. Used as an alternative to celsius.
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

Celsius

The Celsius thermometer or scale, so called from Anders Celsius, a Swedish astronomer, who invented it. It is the same as the centigrade thermometer or scale.
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

Fahrenheit

German physicist who invented the mercury thermometer and developed the scale of temperature that bears his name (1686-1736)
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

Celsius

Swedish astronomer who devised the centigrade thermometer (1701-1744)
Sumera Saeed
Jun 23, 2020

FAQs

Which scale is older, Celsius or Fahrenheit?

Fahrenheit is older, introduced in the early 18th century.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Is Fahrenheit used globally?

No, Fahrenheit is primarily used in the U.S., while Celsius is used internationally.
Huma Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Is the difference between each degree the same in both scales?

No, 1°F difference is smaller than 1°C difference.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

How did Daniel Fahrenheit determine his scale's reference points?

He used several fixed temperature points, including the freezing of brine and human body temperature.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Is the boiling point of water always 100°C?

No, it can vary with altitude or pressure, but 100°C is the standard at sea level.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Which temperature scale is more accurate?

Neither is inherently more accurate; it depends on the context and precision required.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Why is Celsius preferred in science?

Its alignment with the metric system and base-10 makes it more intuitive for scientific use.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

How do I convert Celsius to Fahrenheit?

Use the formula (°C × 9/5) + 32 = °F.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Which scale is used in aviation internationally?

Celsius is the international standard, including in aviation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Who invented the Fahrenheit scale?

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Do all scientific fields use Celsius?

Most do, but some fields in the U.S. might still use Fahrenheit.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Are there temperatures where Celsius and Fahrenheit are equal?

Yes, at -40°, both scales read the same.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Is the Kelvin scale related to Celsius?

Yes, Kelvin and Celsius have the same magnitude, but Kelvin starts at absolute zero, approximately -273.15°C.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

What does Celsius measure?

Celsius measures temperature, using 0° as water's freezing point and 100° as its boiling point.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Why does the U.S. use Fahrenheit?

Tradition and historical reasons have kept Fahrenheit as the standard in the U.S.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Why is Celsius also called centigrade?

It was originally named centigrade due to its 100-degree scale, but later renamed to honor Anders Celsius.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Is 0°F colder than 0°C?

Yes, 0°F is colder than 0°C.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

What's the "room temperature" in Fahrenheit?

Typically around 68° to 72°F.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

How do I convert Fahrenheit to Celsius?

Use the formula (°F - 32) × 5/9 = °C.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

What's the "room temperature" in Celsius?

Typically around 20° to 22°C.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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