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Newton temperature conversion formulae
from Newton to Newton
Celsius [°C] = [°N] × 10033 [°N] = [°C] × 33100
Fahrenheit [°F] = [°N] × 6011 + 32 [°N] = ([°F] − 32) × 1160
Kelvin [K] = [°N] × 10033 + 273.15 [°N] = ([K] − 273.15) × 33100
Rankine [°R] = [°N] × 6011 + 491.67 [°N] = ([°R] − 491.67) × 1160
For temperature intervals rather than specific temperatures,
1 °N = 10033 °C = 6011 °F
Comparisons among various temperature scales

The Newton scale is a temperature scale devised by Isaac Newton around 1700. Applying his mind to the problem of heat, he elaborated a first qualitative temperature scale, comprising about twenty reference points ranging from "cold air in winter" to "glowing coals in the kitchen fire". This approach was rather crude and problematic, so Newton quickly became dissatisfied with it. He knew that most substances expand when heated, so he took a container of linseed oil and measured its change of volume against his reference points. He found that the volume of linseed oil grew by 7.25% when heated from the temperature of melting snow to that of boiling water.

After a while, he defined the "zeroth degree of heat" as melting snow and "33 degrees of heat" as boiling water. His scale is thus a precursor of the Celsius scale, being defined by the same temperature references. Indeed it is likely that Celsius knew about the Newton scale when he invented his. Newton called his instrument a "thermometer".

Thus the unit of this scale, the Newton degree, equals \tfrac{100}{33} (approximately 3.03) of a Kelvin or a degree Celsius and has the same zero as the Celsius scale.

See also


  • Grigull, U. (1984), "Newton's temperature scale and the law of cooling", Heat and Mass Transfer 18 (4): 195–199, doi:10.1007/BF01007129  .

External links

  • Brown, Dan, The Lost Symbol, 2009


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