The basic unit of thermodynamic temperature in the international system of units (→ SI units). The kelvin is also the fundamental unit of the → Kelvin scale. One kelvin represents the same temperature difference as one degree → Celsius. It was previously called the degree Kelvin (°K).
Named after the Scottish physicist William Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), one of the most influential scientists of the 19th century.
Fr.: échelle de Kelvin
A temperature scale, redefined in 1954, in which the zero point is equivalent to -273.16 °C. This fundamental fixed point, based on the → triple point of water, is considered to be the lowest possible temperature of anything in the Universe. Also known as the absolute temperature scale.
Fr.: postulat de Kelvin
A transformation whose only final result is to transform into work heat extracted from a source which is at the same temperature is impossible. Kelvin's postulate is a statement of the → second law of thermodynamics and is equivalent to → Clausius's postulate.
Fr.: contraction de Kelvin-Helmholtz
After the Scottish physicist William Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) and the German physicist and physician Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-1894), who made important contributions to the thermodynamics of gaseous systems; → contraction.
nâpâydâri-ye Kelvin-Helmholtz (#)
Fr.: instabilité de Kelvin-Helmholtz
An → instability raised when there is sufficient velocity difference across the interface between two uniformly moving → incompressible fluid layers, or when velocity → shear is present within a continuous fluid.
Fr.: mécanisme Kelvin-Helmholtz
The heating of a body that contracts under its own gravity. For a large body like a planet or star, gravity tries to compress the body. This compression heats the core of the body, which results in internal energy which in turn is radiated as → thermal energy. In this way a star could be heated by its own weight.
William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) and Hermann von Helmholtz proposed that the sun derived its energy from the conversion of gravitational potential energy; → mechanism.
Fr.: échelle de temps de Kelvin-Helmholtz
The characteristic time that would be required for a contracting spherical cloud of gas to transform all its → gravitational energy into → thermal energy. It is given by the relation: tKH ≅ GM2/RL, where G is the → gravitational constant, M is the mass of the cloud, R the initial radius, and L the → luminosity. The Kelvin-Helmholtz time scale determines how quickly a pre-main sequence star contracts before → nuclear fusion starts. For the Sun it is 3 x 107 years, which also represents the time scale on which the Sun would contract if its nuclear source were turned off. Moreover, this time scale indicates that the gravitational energy cannot account for the solar luminosity. For a → massive star of M = 30 Msun, the Kelvin-Helmholtz time is only about 3 x 104 years.