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°

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specific: ฿, ¢, $, , ƒ, , , , £, , ¥, , ,
daggers ( , )
degree ( ° )
ditto mark ( )
inverted exclamation mark ( ¡ )
inverted question mark ( ¿ )
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ordinal indicator (º, ª)
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The degree symbol (°; Unicode: U+00B0, HTML: °) is a typographical symbol that is used, among other things, to represent degrees of arc (e.g. in Geographic coordinate systems) or degrees of temperature. The symbol consists of a small raised circle, historically a zero glyph.

In medical shorthand, the degree symbol is also used to denote hours, for instance q4° or q4° meaning "every four hours." Especially in the biological and medical fields, a variant glyph is used, consisting of an underlined raised circle. 1º, 2º, and 3º are common abbreviations for primary, secondary, and tertiary (although the Unicode character º used here actually denotes the "masculine ordinal indicator" for use in Romance languages)

The degree character was missing from the basic 7-bit ASCII set of 1963, but was introduced in the 1987 Latin-1 extension.

Contents

History

The first recorded modern use of the degree symbol in mathematics is from 1569[1] where the usage clearly shows that the symbol is a small raised zero, to match the symbols for minute, second, third, i.e. prime ′(U+2032), double prime ″(U+2033) and triple prime ‴ (U+2034), which originate as small raised Roman numerals for 1, 2, 3.

The degree symbol was historically used for any system of gradation, and remains in use for numerous purposes, including specific systems of gradation of water hardness, film speed, gravity in beer, etc.

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Origin

The Degree symbol was originally the Egyptian Hieroglyphic symbol for the sun. The Egyptian year was only 360 days long and the circle was given this many degrees to represent the year, the sun symbol was used to represent the degrees.

Typography

Degrees of arc

In the case of degrees of arc, the degree symbol follows the number without any intervening space.

Temperatures

Degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit

In contrast to expressing degrees of arc, in the case of degrees of temperature, two scientific and engineering standards bodies (BIPM and the U.S. Government Printing Office) prescribe printing temperatures with a space between the number and the degree symbol, as in 10 °C.[2][3] However, in many professionally typeset works, including scientific works published by the University of Chicago Press or Oxford University Press, the degree symbol is printed with no spaces between the number, the symbol, and the C or F representing Celsius or Fahrenheit, as in 10°C.[4] This is also the practice of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which operates the National Center for Atmospheric Research.[5] Others put a space between the degree symbol and the letter (10° C), which is probably no longer recommended by any of the major style guides.

Kelvin

Use of the degree symbol to refer to temperatures measured in kelvins (symbol: K) was abolished in 1967 by the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM). Therefore, the freezing point of water, for instance, is today correctly written as simply 273.15 K. The SI fundamental temperature unit is now "kelvin" (note the lower case), and no longer "degree Kelvin".

Other Uses

The degree symbol is used in writing about music to indicate a diminished chord.

It is also used in the measurement of specific gravity (e.g. using the Baumé scale) and alcoholic proof.

In computing

  • The Unicode code point is U+00B0 (176 decimal), and the code point in CP437 etc is 0xF8 (248 decimal).
  • The HTML entity is °.
  • In LaTeX, using the packages gensymb and textcomp provides the command \degree. In the absence of these packages one can write the degree symbol as ^{\circ} in math mode. In other words, it is written as the empty circle glyph \circ as a superscript.

Unicode characters similar in appearance include the "masculine ordinal indicator" (U+00BA, º ), the "ring above" combining diacritic (U+02DA, ˚ ), "superscript zero" (U+2070, ⁰ ) and the "ring operator" (U+2218, ∘ ).

Alt command: Alt+ 1 7 6.

References

  1. ^ *Cajori, Florian (1993) [1928-1929]. A History of Mathematical Notations. Dover Publications. ISBN 0486677664.  
  2. ^ The International System of Units (8th ed.), Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, 2006, http://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si_brochure_8_en.pdf  
  3. ^ Style Manual, United States Government Printing Office, 2000, pp. p171, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/stylemanual/2000/chap10.pdf  
  4. ^ ( – Scholar search) Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.), 2006, http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.  
  5. ^ UCAR, UCAR Communications Style Guide, http://www.ucar.edu/communications/styleguide/d.shtml, retrieved 2007-09-01  

See also

External links


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