Wondering Why?

Why Is Fahrenheit Used In The US?

The United States of America is known to be one of the countries using the Fahrenheit scale of the English System. This resistance to the metrication of their measurements was primarily due to the difficulty in replacing every measuring device in the country with new ones that made use of the Metric system. For that, Fahrenheit is still used in the US for temperature measurements. Cayman Islands, Palau, Bahamas and Belize are the countries that are using the Fahrenheit temperature scale as well. But there are more reasons behind the retention of the said temperature scale and most of them can be attributed to its unique properties.

The Fahrenheit Scale

The Fahrenheit temperature is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and was named after him. The Fahrenheit scale is more convenient to use for some countries. One of the reasons is precision. The freezing point of water is 32 °F and the boiling temperature is 212 °F, both at standard atmospheric pressure. There are 180 degrees between freezing and boiling, compared to only 100 in the Celsius scale. One Fahrenheit degree represents only 100/180, or 5/9, as great a temperature change as one Celsius degree, making the Fahrenheit scale more precise in reading temperature.

The conversion of the Celsius degree to the Fahrenheit degree required the Celsius temperature to be multiplied by 1.8 and added by 32. This goes to show that the Celsius degree had a smaller range for temperature measurements. Thus, the Fahrenheit temperature scale was useful in the US for it has a larger range as compared to the Celsius scale, which reduced the need for more negative readings when temperature was below the normal freezing point of water. Finally, the Fahrenheit degrees were also adequate for much technical work since the integral degrees did not require fractions, unlike the Celsius degrees.

Precision and convenience are the main reasons why some countries are using Fahrenheit as their main scale of measuring temperature.



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