Video: Understanding Fahrenheit as a Unit of Temperature

Daniel and William each read a thermometer outside on a cool spring day. Daniel said it is 64°F outside, and William said it is 102°F outside. Who is correct?

02:15

Video Transcript

Daniel and William each read a thermometer outside on a cool spring day. Daniel said it is 64 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and William said it is 102 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Who is correct?

To help us figure out who is right, Daniel or William, let’s try to remember some common Fahrenheit temperatures. What is the freezing temperature in Fahrenheit? Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

We also have a temperature we call room temperature, what it feels like in most rooms. Room temperature is somewhere around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Another common temperature we know is the average normal human body temperature. Average human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

On this cool spring day, Daniel has said that it’s 64 degrees Fahrenheit and William has said it’s 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s see which of these makes sense when we compare them to common temperatures we know.

Daniel’s temperature falls between freezing and room temperature; it’s slightly colder than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Daniel. According to William, it’s 102 degrees Fahrenheit outside, which is warmer than the normal human body temperature.

Which of these temperatures makes sense for a cool spring day? Does it make sense that it would be warmer than the human body temperature outside if it was a cool spring day? No, it doesn’t make sense that it would be 102 degrees Fahrenheit on a cool spring day.

Our question has asked us who is correct. In this case, Daniel is correct when he read the temperature outside as 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

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