The Biology Project > Biomath > Linear Functions > Applications > Temperature Conversion

## Linear Functions Applications

Temperature Conversion

 Temperature is commonly measured in degrees Fahrenheit (°F), degrees Celsius (°C), or Kelvin (K). Americans generally refer to temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit. However, in the laboratory temperatures are reported in either degrees Celsius or Kelvin. The different measures can be translated from one another using linear equations because each unit increase in one measure corresponds to a constant increase in the other measure.

We can use the following data to derive the linear equations used to convert temperatures from one system to another:

• Water boils at 212 °F and 100 °C
• Water freezes at 32 °F and 0 °C
• Temperatures in Kelvin can be converted to °C by subtracting 273.

Use these facts to answer the following questions:

Write the equation used to convert temperatures from °F to °C.

Write the equation used to convert temperatures from °C to °F.

Find the slope of the line in the equation used to convert temperatures expressed in K to °F.

Determine absolute zero in °C.

Determine normal body temperature in °C.

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The Biology Project > Biomath > Linear Functions > Applications > Temperature Conversion

The Biology Project
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

The University of Arizona

May 2006
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