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This law was postulated in the 1930s, after the first and second laws of thermodynamics had been developed and named. It is called the zeroth law because it comes logically before the first and second laws (discussed in Thermodynamics ). An example of this law in action is seen in babies in incubators: babies in incubators normally have very few clothes on, so to an observer they look as if they may not be warm enough. However, the temperature of the air, the cot, and the baby is the same, because they are in thermal equilibrium, which is accomplished by maintaining air temperature to keep the baby comfortable.

Does the temperature of a body depend on its size?

No, the system can be divided into smaller parts each of which is at the same temperature. We say that the temperature is an intensive quantity. Intensive quantities are independent of size.

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Section summary

  • Temperature is the quantity measured by a thermometer.
  • Temperature is related to the average kinetic energy of atoms and molecules in a system.
  • Absolute zero is the temperature at which there is no molecular motion.
  • There are three main temperature scales: Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.
  • Temperatures on one scale can be converted to temperatures on another scale using the following equations:
    T º F = 9 5 T º C + 32 size 12{T rSub { size 8{°F} } = { {9} over {5} } T rSub { size 8{°C} } +"32"} {}
    T º C = 5 9 T º F 32 size 12{T rSub { size 8{°C} } = { {5} over {9} } left (T rSub { size 8{°F} } - "32" right )} {}
    T K = T º C + 273 . 15 size 12{T rSub { size 8{K} } =T rSub { size 8{°C} } +"273" "." "15"} {}
    T º C = T K 273 . 15 size 12{T rSub { size 8{°C} } =T rSub { size 8{K} } - "273" "." "15"} {}
  • Systems are in thermal equilibrium when they have the same temperature.
  • Thermal equilibrium occurs when two bodies are in contact with each other and can freely exchange energy.
  • The zeroth law of thermodynamics states that when two systems, A and B, are in thermal equilibrium with each other, and B is in thermal equilibrium with a third system, C, then A is also in thermal equilibrium with C.

Conceptual questions

What does it mean to say that two systems are in thermal equilibrium?

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Give an example of a physical property that varies with temperature and describe how it is used to measure temperature.

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When a cold alcohol thermometer is placed in a hot liquid, the column of alcohol goes down slightly before going up. Explain why.

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If you add boiling water to a cup at room temperature, what would you expect the final equilibrium temperature of the unit to be? You will need to include the surroundings as part of the system. Consider the zeroth law of thermodynamics.

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Problems&Exercises

What is the Fahrenheit temperature of a person with a 39 . 0 º C size 12{"39" "." 0°C} {} fever?

102 º F size 12{"102"°F} {}

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Frost damage to most plants occurs at temperatures of 28 . 0 º F size 12{"28" "." 0°F} {} or lower. What is this temperature on the Kelvin scale?

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To conserve energy, room temperatures are kept at 68 . 0 º F size 12{"68" "." 0°F} {} in the winter and 78 . 0 º F size 12{"78" "." 0°F} {} in the summer. What are these temperatures on the Celsius scale?

20 . 0 º C size 12{"20" "." 0°C} {} and 25 . 6 º C size 12{"25" "." 6°C} {}

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A tungsten light bulb filament may operate at 2900 K. What is its Fahrenheit temperature? What is this on the Celsius scale?

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The surface temperature of the Sun is about 5750 K. What is this temperature on the Fahrenheit scale?

9890 º F size 12{"9890"°F} {}

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One of the hottest temperatures ever recorded on the surface of Earth was 134 º F size 12{"134"°F} {} in Death Valley, CA. What is this temperature in Celsius degrees? What is this temperature in Kelvin?

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(a) Suppose a cold front blows into your locale and drops the temperature by 40.0 Fahrenheit degrees. How many degrees Celsius does the temperature decrease when there is a 40 . 0 º F size 12{"40" "." 0°F} {} decrease in temperature? (b) Show that any change in temperature in Fahrenheit degrees is nine-fifths the change in Celsius degrees.

(a) 22 . 2 º C size 12{"22" "." 2°C} {}

(b) Δ T º F = T 2 º F T 1 º F = 9 5 T 2 º C + 32 . 0 º 9 5 T 1 º C + 32 . 0 º = 9 5 T 2 º C T 1 º C = 9 5 Δ T º C

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(a) At what temperature do the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales have the same numerical value? (b) At what temperature do the Fahrenheit and Kelvin scales have the same numerical value?

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Questions & Answers

how many subject is in physics
Adeshina Reply
yh I need someone to explain something im tryna solve . I'll send the question if u down for it
Tamdy Reply
a ripple tank experiment a vibrating plane is used to generate wrinkles in the water .if the distance between two successive point is 3.5cm and the wave travel a distance of 31.5cm find the frequency of the vibration
Tamdy
the range of objects and phenomena studied in physics is
Bethel Reply
what is Linear motion
Hamza Reply
straight line motion is called linear motion
then what
Amera
linear motion is a motion in a line, be it in a straight line or in a non straight line. It is the rate of change of distance.
Saeedul
Hi
aliyu
your are wrong Saeedul
Richard
Linear motion is a one-dimensional motion along a straight line, and can therefore be described mathematically using only one spatial dimension
Jason
what is the formula to calculate wavelength of the incident light
David Reply
if a spring is is stiffness of 950nm-1 what work will be done in extending the spring by 60mmp
Hassan Reply
State the forms of energy
Samzy Reply
machanical
Ridwan
Word : Mechanical wave Definition : The waves, which need a material medium for their propagation, e.g., Sound waves. \n\nOther Definition: The waves, which need a material medium for their propagation, are called mechanical waves. Mechanical waves are also called elastic waves. Sound waves, water waves are examples of mechanical waves.t Definition: wave consisting of periodic motion of matter; e.g. sound wave or water wave as opposed to electromagnetic wave.h
Clement Reply
correct
Akinpelu
what is mechanical wave
Akinpelu Reply
a wave which require material medium for its propagation
syed
The S.I unit for power is what?
Samuel Reply
watt
Okoli
Am I correct
Okoli
it can be in kilowatt, megawatt and so
Femi
yes
Femi
correct
Jaheim
kW
Akinpelu
OK that's right
Samuel
SI.unit of power is.watt=j/c.but kw.and Mw are bigger.umots
syed
What is physics
aish Reply
study of matter and its nature
Akinpelu
The word physics comes from a Greek word Physicos which means Nature.The Knowledge of Nature. It is branch of science which deals with the matter and energy and interaction between them.
Uniform
why in circular motion, a tangential acceleration can change the magnitude of the velocity but not its direction
Syafiqah Reply
reasonable
Femi
because it is balanced by the inward acceleration otherwise known as centripetal acceleration
MUSTAPHA
What is a wave
Mutuma Reply
Tramsmission of energy through a media
Mateo
is the disturbance that carry materials as propagation from one medium to another
Akinpelu
mistakes thanks
Akinpelu
find the triple product of (A*B).C given that A =i + 4j, B=2i - 3j and C = i + k
Favour Reply
Difference between north seeking pole and south seeking pole
Stanley Reply
Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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