Formula – How to convert Celsius (°C) to Kelvin (K)
K = °C + 273.15
Add 273.15 to the temperature in Celsius.
Find 30°C in Kelvin:
30 + 273.15 = 303.15K
What is the difference between Celsius and Kelvin?
Celsius and Kelvin both operate on the same interval – an increase in one degree of one is the same as an increase of one degree in the other.
Celsius is benchmarked between the freezing point of water (0°C, or 273.15K) and the boiling point of water (100°C, or 373.15K).
Kelvin is benchmarked from the temperature Absolute 0, the coldest temperature possible in the universe.
Unlike Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Rankine, Kelvin does not use a degree scale (°). The units of temperature in kelvin are simply noted as “K” not “°K”
Who uses Celsius and Kelvin?
Celsius is a common temperature scale (along with Fahrenheit) for temperature measurements, specifically weather.
Kelvin is used in the scientific community, specifically the physical sciences.
What are other common temperature scales?
Fahrenheit and Rankine are two other common temperature scales.
Fahrenheit uses a scale of 32°F for the freezing point of water and 212°F for the boiling point of water.
Rankine is related to Fahrenheit the same way that Kelvin is to Celsius. 0°R (0 degrees Rankine) is absolute 0, and the scale increases at the same interval as Fahrenheit from there.
Sources and more resources
- Wikipedia – Celsius, Kelvin, Conversion of Units of Temperature, and Scale of Temperature – An introduction to both temperature scales and the concept of a temperature scale.
- ISO 80000-5:2019 – The ISO standard defining temperature.
- NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory – SI Units – Temperature – Details on temperature by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- Prof. James Schombert, Department of Physics, University of Oregon – Temperature Scale (Glossary) – An overview of the 3 common temperature scales of today, Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.