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Profile of Daniel Fahrenheit
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What did Fahrenheit make his first reliable thermometer out of in 1709?
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Hi, I'm Christina Hartman for About.com and today we're profiling the Dutch scientist Daniel Fahrenheit.Daniel Fahrenheit was born in 1686 in Poland, but spent most of his life in the Dutch Republic. Raised by a merchant family, he was preparing to follow in his father's trade, but the death of his parents in 1701 from eating poisonous mushrooms sparked his interest in science. He spent several years travelling through Germany and Denmark learning from some of the leading scientists of the day.He is credited with creating the world's first reliable thermometer when in 1709, he made one out of glass and alcohol. Five years later, he improved upon his design by substituting mercury as the volume of measure in the tube. The volume of mercury changes slightly with an increase in temperature indicating how hot or cold the weather is surrounding the tube.In addition to creating thermometers, Fahrenheit developed the temperature scale that now bears his name. He based his scale on three reference points of the insertion of a thermometer in a container of brine. Building upon the research already available and modifying the scale, Fahrenheit's scale showed water to freeze at 32 degrees and boil at 212 degrees with the normal human body temperature being around 98 degrees.Fahrenheit died in September of 1736 in the Netherlands. His scale was, for several centuries, the standard in almost all fields. But in the 1960s, it began to gradually be replaced by the Celsius scale as it is the standard for the International System of Units. Today, it is only used officially in the United States and its territories and Belize but it can also be found occasionally in Canada and the United Kingdom.
And that's a look at the scientist Daniel Fahrenheit. For more information, check out About.com.
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