Rankine Scale
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Rankine Scale
Unit ofTemperature
Symbol°R, °Ra
Named afterMacquorn Rankine

The Rankine scale is an absolute scale of thermodynamic temperature named after the Glasgow University engineer and physicist Macquorn Rankine, who proposed it in 1859.[1] Just like the Kelvin scale, which was first proposed in 1848,[1] zero on the Rankine scales is absolute zero, but a temperature difference of one Rankine degree is defined as equal to one Fahrenheit degree, rather than the Celsius degree used on the kelvin scale. Thus, a temperature of 0 K (-273.15 °C; -459.67 °F) is equal to 0 °R, and a temperature of -458.67 °F is equal to 1 °R.

The Rankine scale is still used in engineering systems where heat computations are done using degrees Fahrenheit.[]

The symbol for degrees Rankine is °R[2] (or °Ra if necessary to distinguish it from the Rømer and Réaumur scales). By analogy with the SI unit, the kelvin, some authors term the unit Rankine, omitting the degree symbol.[3][4]

Some important temperatures relating the Rankine scale to other temperature scales are shown in the table below.

Temperature Kelvin Celsius Fahrenheit Rankine
Absolute zero 0 K -273.15 °C -459.67 °F 0 °R
Freezing point of brine[a] 255.37 K -17.78 °C 0 °F 459.67 °R
Freezing point of water[b] 273.15 K 0 °C 32 °F 491.67 °R
Boiling point of water[c] 373.1339 K 99.9839 °C 211.97102 °F 671.64102 °R

See also


  1. ^ The freezing point of brine is the zero point of Fahrenheit scale, old definition
  2. ^ The ice point of purified water has been measured to be 0.000089(10) degrees Celsius - see Magnum 1995
  3. ^ For Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water at one standard atmosphere (101.325 kPa) when calibrated solely per the two-point definition of thermodynamic temperature. Older definitions of the Celsius scale once defined the boiling point of water under one standard atmosphere as being precisely 100 °C. However, the current definition results in a boiling point that is actually 16.1 mK less. For more about the actual boiling point of water, see VSMOW in temperature measurement.


  1. ^ a b "Rankine". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved .
  2. ^ B.8 Factors for Units Listed Alphabetically from Thompson & Taylor 2008, pp. 45-69
  3. ^ Pauken 2011, p. 20
  4. ^ Balmer 2011, p. 10


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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