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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 1 (2003) pp 2-3

A Graphical Approach to Temperature Conversions

J. David Jenkins

Department of Chemistry, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460,
Received December 13, 2002. Accepted January 8, 2003

Published online: 16 January 2003

Abstract. Many students have difficulty understanding the origin of the constants in the temperature conversion equations. This may be in part be due to the commonly used descriptive method for the derivation of these equations. In this work a graphical approach is suggested as a means to illustrate the relationships between the temperature scales. If equivalent temperatures from any two scales are graphed, the result is a straight line. Determination of the equation of this line by finding the slope and y intercept explicitly shows the origin of the constants in the conversion equations. This approach provides students an opportunity to obtain a more intuitive understanding of the unit conversion process.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; general chemistry; physical chemistry

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Issue date: February 1, 2003

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