Talk:Degree symbol

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Represents the Sun[edit]

I agree with that fact. I read it in my Astronomy textbook. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Do you have an ISBN? Or author and title? —Keenan Pepper 18:19, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I have my doubts. If you look at the symbols for minutes and seconds (and one sixtieth of a second is a 'third'), they are just the roman numerals for 1, 2, 3 etc. It seems more credible that a degree symbol is just a small raised zero. What we need here is some evidence of when the degree symbol was first used. Pemboid (talk) 09:09, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I have now found a reference in [Uses of Symbols from Geometry]

The first modern appearance of the degree symbol ° Cajori found is in the revised 1569 edition of Gemma Frisius, Arithmeticae practicae moethodus facilis by Gemma Frisius (1508-1555), although the symbol appears in the Appendix on astronomical fractions due to Jacques Peletier (1517-1582) and dated 1558. Cajori writes:
This is the first modern appearance that I have found of ° for integra or “degrees.” It is explained that the denomination of the product of two such denominate numbers is obtained by combining the denominations of the factors; minutes times seconds give thirds, because 1+2=3. The denomination ° for integers or degrees is necessary to impart generality to this mode or procedure. "Integers when multiplied by seconds make seconds, when multiplied by thirds make thirds" (fol. 62, 76). It is possible that Peletier is the originator of the ° for degrees. But nowhere in this book have I been able to find the modern angular notation ° ' " used in writing angles. The ° is used only in multiplication.

This firmly suggests that the symbol represents a raised zero, and I shall edit the text accordingly. Pemboid (talk) 09:19, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Degrees and torsors[edit]

When one is being scientifically pedantic, there is a distinction with affine points and vectors between them. That is, there is a distinction between the temperature at which water boils, 100 °C, and the temperature difference between 50 °C and 150 °C, also written 100 °C. The same is true of points in space versus displacements and between moments in time and durations in time. It seems that historically the degree symbol tends to be used with relative values such as temperature and angles, although that usage isn't strict.

Are there any systems in which this usage is strict? That is, where 300 K + (–100 °K) = 200 K? —Ben FrantzDale 16:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I was taught that the difference between 70 °C and 100 °C was NOT 30 degrees Celsius (30 °C), but 30 Celsius degrees (30 C°). That is to say, one is an actual temperature, whereas the other is a distance between two different temperatures. Of course, this applies for °F/F° too. Mang (talk) 07:09, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Degrees of arc[edit]

"In the case of degrees of arc, the degree symbol is always printed a space between it and the number." Surely not? Both International_System_of_Units#SI_writing_style and Celsius#Formatting contradict this. I've changed it. JREL (talk) 21:55, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Mac Input[edit]

I know that as of OS X 10.4.11, the ˚ symbol can be input using ALT+K. This should be referenced. Centrisian (talk) 06:53, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there is such a thing as "mac input". OS X has a legion of keyboard layouts, and some of them probably place the symbol at alt+K. "Press this or that key" instructions refer to keyboard layouts, not operating systems, and I do not think it is the job of a Wikipedia article to tell people about the keyboard layout they may be using. --dab (𒁳) 08:37, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Should space come before or after degree symbol?[edit]

The article says that the convention of the BIPM and the U.S. Government Printing Office is that there should be a space between number and degree symbol. This seems to be a trifling matter if the temperature scale (C or F) is present, that is, if they want me to write "98.6 °C" instead of "98.6° C", I wouldn't argue about it or care one way or the other. But what about the case when the temperature scale is omitted (which is very common)? Should I write "98.6 °" with a space? This seems very odd to me. If the style "98.6° C" is truly out of favor now, then IMHO the style with no space at all should be adopted: "98.6°C" or, if the scale is omitted: "98.6°". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:04, 6 August 2008 (UTC) This comment of 6 August 2008 and correction of 25 August 2008 added by Thomas.Hedden

Masonic usage[edit]

Freemasons and derivative organizations use the degree symbol to denote the degrees belonging to their orders. Thus, a 33rd degree mason may sign his name: Brother John Doe, 33°. Should we include that in this article? --Moly 17:06, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

sure, if we have a good reference for this. --dab (𒁳) 08:37, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

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The article currently includes this quote:

This is also the practice of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which operates the National Center for Atmospheric Research.[5]

I'm a little confused by this-- what is the purpose and benefit of referencing UCAR style standards? UCAR is not some sort of federal body managing all atmospheric research in the nation, nor is it a standards-setting body of any kind. It's just a research organization with one research "center" (NCAR - two locations), and a manager of contracts and grants. If this is an appeal to authority on proper usage, UCAR is not such an authority, and if this is presented merely as an example of typical use in the professional field, there isn't much reason to choose UCAR over, say, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (of which the National Weather Service is a part) which is much larger and more "important", or alternately the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is a standards-setting body. siafu (talk) 00:28, 5 December 2012 (UTC)