Gabriel David Fahrenheit

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Gabriel David Fahrenheit

1686-1736

German physicist and instrument maker who invented the mercury thermometer (in 1714) and developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale. The thermometer, however, was not generally adopted as a clinical instrument until the 1860s. Because the zero point on Fahrenheit's original scale was the temperature of an ice-salt mixture, the freezing point of water on his scale is 32°, normal body temperature is 98.6°, and the boiling point of water is 212°. Although the Fahrenheit scale is still commonly used in the United States, scientists and most other nations have adopted the Celsius scale.

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