Kelvin had previously proposed to define an absolute scale of temperature independent of the properties of any particular substance in terms of Carnot's function by making F'(t) constant.
But this procedure in itself is not sufficient, because, although it would be highly probable that a gas obeying Boyle's law at all temperatures was practically an ideal gas, it is evident that Boyle's law would be satisfied by any substance having the characteristic equation pv = f (0), where f (0) is any arbitrary function of 0, and that the scale of temperatures given by such a substance would not necessarily coincide with the absolute scale.
- William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), who wars the first to realize the importance of the absolute scale in thermodynamics, and the inadequacy of the test afforded by Boyle's law or by experiments on the constancy of the specific heat of gases, devised a more delicate and practical test, which he carried out successfully in conjunction with Joule.
According to the above formula the critical temperature is given by 8aA/54b, and as the critical temperature is approximately proportional to the boiling-point, both being estimated on the absolute scale of temperature, we may conclude that the larger value of b corresponds to the lower boilingpoint, and indeed the isomer corresponding to the left-hand formula boils at 74°, the other at 114°.
The Work Of Rowland By The Mechanical Method Was The First In Which Due Attention Was Paid To The Thermometry And To The Reduction Of The Results To The Absolute Scale Of Temperature.