Talk:Rankine scale

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Why is it a stub?[edit]

I am surprised to see that this article is labelled a stub. It gave me all the information I needed to write a Conversion Calculator, to be hosted at [1], involving temperatures.

Is it because it is short? What other information is required?

Fcalculators (talk) 22:18, 5 March 2010 (UTC)


The page states in the table in the upper right: "For temperature intervals rather than specific temperatures, 1°R = 1°F = 5⁄9°C = 5⁄9 K". Double check my math, but I believe it should read "1°R = 1°F = 9/5°C = 9/5 K" Tricln (talk) 18:17, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

This page states "A temperature of 459.67 °F is precisely equal to 0 °R" ... Shouldn't that be the other way around?

yes, fixed --JD79 19:02, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. now it said "A temperature of negative -459.67 °F is precisely equal to 0 °R." - now having the term 'negative' and the sign '-' in their is double negation and would result in the same thing as the above quote. I therefore removed the word negative. Regards, Dola chi-Trei, Trimbir. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this scale really disused? I know it's antiquated, but I had a fluids class that encouraged being "bilingual" and so Rankine was used extensively.

I tend to agree - edited accordingly and added link to Rankine cycle - which is important.

Linuxlad 23:35, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I was told by my college Chemistry professor that Rankine was at one time widely used in US industry. --anonymous

The key is at one time. This unit is now obsolete, and mentioned here for completeness. -- Egil 09:26, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Nonsense. Degrees Rankine, unlike some of the other obsolete degrees mentioned in the other articles, are still used. Gene Nygaard 10:25, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you insist, let me reprashe that: Rankine is antiquated. Really. -- Egil

'A competent scientist should be able to work in any system of units' (A Cavendish Professor of Physics to his flock, in the days when they had cgs, esu, emu, degrees Brix etc.) .

Many chemical engineering, thermodynamics, and heat transfer textbooks, used from Britain to the US to Singapore, use the Rankine scale. It may be antiquated in the same way that any non-metric units are antiquated, but it is still used.

I removed "now rarely used". I use it all the time (to my disappointment)! It is useful in thermodynamics when using US Customary units. — TheKMantalk 23:08, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

that's rather arrogant. 'rarely' is not 'never'. perhaps you're the rarity. and by 'perhaps' i mean 'definitely'.-Heterodoxus (talk) 04:10, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Rankine degrees are still usefull in designing for those living in a Fahrenheit world. It may be antiqudated to acedemics in ivory towers but I use it along with the Stepahan Boltman Equation here in real life in my welding shop on heater designs. The heater ouputs are measured in antiqudated Fahrenheit/Rankine degree units. Most people around here relate to temperature in Fahrenheit degrees. Guess we're all antiqudated but any competent engineer should be able to work in units that the customer relates to. --JTH01 08:52, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, we have students and books from Europe, Africa, Asia and America. I have yet to see a single person use this scale and I think most people here would consider such a person to have a bizarre death wish. Rankine may be widely used in the United States, but that's a long way from being widely used full-stop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Petroleum engineering at University of Stavanger. I've used American textbooks that have included the Rankine scale along with SI units in some courses, including thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and chemical engineering. More importantly, it is used extensively in petroleum engineering, along with other oilfield units like psi, ft etc. I doubt the Rankine is an obsolete unit in the USA if it is sometimes used even in Norway.-- (talk) 17:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Conversion expression for Celsius to Rankine is incorrect in box in top right corner of page. The expression should read [R] = (9/5 * [C]) + 491.67 and not [R] = ([C] + 491.67) * 9/5. The latter is not the inverse function of the Celsius to Rankine expression quoted and will not produce 491.67 Deg Rankine when converting a temperature of 0 Deg Celsius. -- Orinocobj (talk) 17:03, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Rankine cycle is more notable[edit]

It should be primary. --JWB 07:41, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Strong agree. I find the disambig page highly annoying. Who are all of these other Rankines? - (talk) 06:00, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

° degrees[edit]

In the text and in one table, the symbol is R. In the other table it is °R. Which one is right? Rankine are degrees like Celsius or are like kelvin? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:30, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

i would say that, if the kelvin article is to be believed, it would not use the term "degree" because since it is an absolute scale, it is not a degree of anything. (The omission of "degree" indicates that it is not relative to an arbitrary reference point such as the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales, but rather an absolute unit of measure which can be manipulated algebraically). but usage isn't always consistent... and since rankine are so rarely used anymore i'd be surprised if one could settle this issue resolutely. regardless, though, this article should stick to one or the other for consistency's sake.
Heterodoxus (talk) 04:06, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
It is an absolute scale, but convention dictates that the symbol should use the degree symbol, as in °R. The rankine scale is still used in petroleum engineering, I certainly wouldn't call it rarely used. It's convenient for thermodynamic calculations when working with imperial units. I've never seen it shown as R without the degree symbol. Since petroleum is where the unit is still widely used, and in recent publications it has still been called "degree Rankine" (see the Petroleum Engineering Handbook VII, Indexes and Standards, 2007), I'll go ahead and add the degree symbol to the article. (talk) 23:10, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
In every physics and chemistry book I've ever seen, it has always omitted the ° symbol on Rankine, because it is an absolute scale. When read aloud, you would say "six hundred rankine", not "six hundred degrees rankine" Until a cite can be given stating that the symbol does belong, it should be omitted. Peabody80 (talk) 20:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice to know in what way the Rankine temperature scale is used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:27, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, basically whenever you want to describe temperature relative to absolute zero - it is just as valid as the Kelvin scale and not "antiquated" (basically don't believe anything you read in Wiki-land, with the possible exception of this statement) in any way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I concur with One of the problems with the "metric system" is that so many people trained only in the metric system are so ignorant of other systems. It often comes off, strangely, as a kind of arrogance, a sense of superiority. The metric system is just as arbitrary as other systems and also as frequently used inconsistently (kilogram-force, etc.) About the only thing it has going for it is that system of tens and tenths, but even that is easily grafted on to other systems - and it frequently is! "Metric-centric" thinking is just ignorance-based snobbery!  :-) (talk) 07:09, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Conversion Table[edit]

What is with the conversion table? I don't quite get it! Someone explain how I read that please? Many thanks! VanessaLylithe (talk) 05:17, 22 July 2012 (UTC) Note: To specify what I don't get, it's the red lines... Were some of them missing (or something)? VanessaLylithe (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:19, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Impartiality of reference[edit]

The article cites which cites

That will not do. is authoritative on nothing and should not be referenced anywhere on wikipedia.

Wikipedia itself states of "PhysOrg is a ... news website..."

As far as which scale is used in which field, that is a large subject right through to malpractices, changes over time and so on. I suspect his ought to be reduced to pointing out things are a mess and pointing at some past paper(s) saying as much, preferably from Standards bodies, this after all is a metrology matter. (is the supposed link to meteorology a mistake?) Tchannon (talk) 00:43, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

The PhysOrg article doesn't actually cite WP. It says "for more information check out WP". Two very different things. It might have taken its words from WP originally, but there is no evidence of that and the burden of proof is on the idea that it did (otherwise we would be assuming every WP ref is circular if it is of recent vintage). The facts aren't so outrageous that they need really solid refs anyway. They're also true. Aeronautical engineering (my field) certainly uses Rankine, and feet/second, and slugs, and pounds-force, etc.! We use those units proudly because, well I don't know why, but we just do. Ultimately it doesn't matter as long as units are consistent and understandable - no "gram-force", or pound-mass, or the worst: "seconds of specific impulse".  :-) (talk) 06:36, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Important? Maybe Not[edit]

Can anyone produce verifiable sources that dictate the importance of the Rankine scale? Who actually uses this on a regular basis? The only people I could think of would be American meteorologists, and even that, I am not so sure about. While it works just the same as Kelvin, so long as you don't mind using Fahrenheit, I can't see it being a very useful unit in terms of scientific research. Certainly the page is necessary, as a historical footnote, but if you needed a measurement that required a real temperature unit rather than degrees, you would mostly likely do the calculations in Kelvin, convert to Celsius, and then convert to Fahrenheit if you really needed the numbers. The only way I could see it being used would be if you only were given data in imperial units, and thus it is easier to convert them to Rankine directly and back again. And like the editor above me has stated, is not a valid source for this type of information. Please let me hear your thoughts on this.Spirit469 (talk) 07:06, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreampt of in your philosophy, Spirit469."  :-) Aeronautical engineers use it all the time (see my comment on the section above). I replaced the refs because they were less ugly than the two tags. The claims aren't so crazy as to call for super duper high quality citation. The claims are true as well. I declared the ref "good enough" and put it back in. I hope that's okay for you. (talk) 06:46, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Excellent, thank you. The second source you added is much more satisfactory.Spirit469 (talk) 04:08, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 February 2014[edit]

i have found evidence that in America Rankine has no degree symbol so this page and others will be excluding this information ([2] on page 20) (talk) 17:43, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Pages 20-21 are not available in that preview, do you have another source or perhaps there is someone who can make the edit that can find that book? — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 17:53, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • In my preview, pages 20-21 are available, and the text says:
    Rankine (R): An absolute temperature scale that uses the Fahrenheit scale, William Rankine's system declares the freezing point of water to be 459.67 Rankine. [...] Note that Kelvin and Rankine scales don't use the degree symbol. The degree symbol was dropped from the Kelvin scale in 1967, and some textbooks have followed suit with Rankine. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 18:00, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • "...and some textbooks have followed suit..." in a "For dummies" book doesn't inspire confidence that this is what is accepted in the scientific community. I have no issue with someone else making the change if they are comfortable with that, but I am not unless there is a scientific journal or some such that says it. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 18:11, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Rankine is just R[edit]

it may sound kinda wired but in the engineering for dummies book it says that Rankine is just R ([3] pg 20) Wes1230 (talk) 18:08, 18 February 2014 (UTC)wes1230

  • This has already been covered above. An official publication from the National Institute of Standards and Technology at U.S. Department of Commerce [4] lists it as a 'degree Rankine'. I am not opposed to changing the article to mention that the unit is sometimes referred to as just 'Rankine', but it would probably need a better reference than a "for dummies" popular book. (User:Peabody80 above has said that he has always seen it as a 'Rankine' rather than a 'degree Rankine', so the references surely exist.) - Mike Rosoft (talk) 20:10, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

i have a text book that shows Rankine as just R sorry to strain this but I fell if Kelvin can be units of CELSIUS (not centigrade you Englishmen :D) then Rankine can be too: "Modern Engineering Thermodynamics - Textbook with Tables Booklet" read it in google books — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wes1230 (talkcontribs)

  • The source [5] says (page 10): "Notice that we do not use the degree symbol (°) with either the Kelvin or the Rankine absolute temperature scale symbols. The reason for this is by international agreement as explained later in this chapter." - Mike Rosoft (talk) 21:31, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I think the references are good; I have added the following text to the article: "By analogy with Kelvin, some authors call the unit Rankine, omitting the degree symbol." - Mike Rosoft (talk) 05:31, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Engineering use[edit]

For some engineering applications[which?] in the United States, temperature is measured using the Rankine scale.


Other engineering fields in the U.S. also rely upon the Rankine scale (a shifted Fahrenheit scale) when working in thermodynamic-related disciplines such as combustion.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

So not an RS.

Removed until some reliable source is found. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:55, 2 April 2017 (UTC).