Just what is temperature anyways?

It’s pretty cool that we can measure the hotness of the air. Thank you Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit.

The heat index got up to 102 in Chicago yesterday. How do those numbers add up? What if the temperature number always started at zero and it had to add up like peanuts in a jar? Just what is a temperature number if we start to think of it in terms of units. We have 102 floating units in the air at all times.

I really have no idea how temperature numbers work. It just measures the hotness. Or something with mercury rising in the heat. The wikipedia page on temperature has an animation of a bunch of balls bouncing around in a box. Looks like those balls would be pretty hot with all that activity. You think they ever stop for a water break?

I want to thank Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit for coming up with our temperature scale. But he wasn’t the one who discovered temperature. I still don’t really know who invented temperature, but we do know that Fahrenheit visited Daniel R√∏mer in 1708 and improved the R√∏mer scale, one of the first temperature systems.

I love graphs like this:

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