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ERIC Number: EJ860239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Determining Absolute Zero Using a Tuning Fork
Goldader, Jeffrey D.
Physics Teacher, v46 n4 p206-209 Apr 2008
The Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales, we tell our students, are related. We explain that a change in temperature of 1 degree C corresponds to a change of 1 Kelvin and that atoms and molecules have zero kinetic energy at zero Kelvin, -273 degrees C. In this paper, we will show how students can derive the relationship between the Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales using a simple, well-known physics experiment. By making multiple measurements of the speed of sound at different temperatures, using the classic physics experiment of determining the speed of sound with a tuning fork and variable-length tube, they can determine the temperature at which the speed of sound is zero--absolute zero.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A