[First posted: 2.10.17]

Preamble: The kinetic theory of gases was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries by applying the macroscopic definitions of energy and momentum introduced by Newton to the microscopic world. The notion of temperature was an invention designed to better understand the relationships between the volume and pressure of a gas - also terms with macroscopic origin. Temperature was used to quantify the (kinetic) energy that each constituent gas particle possessed. In 1848, the Lord Kelvin introduced a scale that was intended to reflect the absolute energy in a gas, with the zero point for this new scale set at minus 273.15 C.

It is important to recognize the historical context of the development of 'temperature' and labeling of the word 'absolute' to their definition. This work occurred during a period of science when there were but two known forces: gravity and electromagnetism. The formal study of thermodynamics, heat, heat capacity, temperature, and entropy was just beginning. It was a time of gaslights and steam engines. Rutherford had yet to discover the nucleus, Einstein was yet to be born, Planck was yet to have a constant named after him, and statistical mechanics was in its infancy.

From this relatively limited set of knowledge, an 'absolute' truth was defined.

The pertinent question is: was the knowledge they gained by observing changes induced by water over a range of a few-hundred degrees sufficiently fundamental to apply to the universe as a whole? That is, when their conjecture was validated by experiments done on tabletops using beakers and Bunsen burners that measured temperature to an accuracy of [~1/10th] of a degree - did they really have sufficient evidence to define a property that would forever be treated as an absolute?

The following pages outline a few ‘coincidences’ related to the Kelvin temperature scale and the fixing of absolute zero at -273.15 C. The unstated conjecture is that the coincidences are the result of the process in which new units are defined, and questions whether the value of such an absolute is truly as fundamental as the unit implies or perhaps its truth lies only with the unit's consistency with the subsequent definitions that emerge from its use.

[The following pages are excerpts from the book:

The Kinetic Foundations of Space - Conjecture from the Planck Scale.]

Book Cover


A somewhat entertained video of these coincidences can be found at:


If the reader would like information related to the book referenced above, please send a note to



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