What Is the SI Unit of Temperature?

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The SI unit of temperature is the Kelvin. Although the Celsius temperature scale is also used, it is considered a derived SI unit and is generally used to measure everyday temperatures.

In the Kelvin scale, the lowest possible temperature is 0 K. This reading is called absolute zero; however, nothing could possibly ever reach this temperature. Absolute zero, according to the Celsius scale, is approximately minus 273 degrees Celsius. Water boils at 373 Kelvin and freezes at 273 Kelvin.

Scientists discovered absolute zero when they figured that as temperature decreases, the volume of a gas also gets smaller. They graphed this relationship and found that for each substance tested, zero volume for each substance would hypothetically occur around minus 273 degrees Celsius, the equivalent of absolute zero.