Resolution 3 of the 9th CGPM (1948)

Triple point of water; thermodynamic scale with a single fixed point; unit of quantity of heat (joule)

  1. With present-day techniques, the triple point of water is capable of providing a thermometric reference point with an accuracy higher than can be obtained from the melting point of ice.
    In consequence the Comité Consultatif de Thermométrie et Calorimétrie (CCTC) considers that the zero of the centesimal thermodynamic scale must be defined as the temperature 0.0100 degree below that of the triple point of water.
  2. The CCTC accepts the principle of an absolute thermodynamic scale with a single fundamental fixed point, at present provided by the triple point of pure water, the absolute temperature of which will be fixed at a later date.
    The introduction of this new scale does not affect in any way the use of the International Scale, which remains the recommended practical scale.
  3. The unit of quantity of heat is the joule.

Note: It is requested that the results of calorimetric experiments be as far as possible expressed in joules. If the experiments are made by comparison with the rise of temperature of water (and that, for some reason, it is not possible to avoid using the calorie), the information necessary for conversion to joules must be provided. The CIPM, advised by the CCTC, should prepare a table giving, in joules per degree, the most accurate values that can be obtained from experiments on the specific heat of water.

A table, prepared in response to this request, was approved and published by the CIPM in 1950 (PV, 22, 92).

DOI : 10.59161/CGPM1948RES3E

The reader should note that the official version of this Resolution is the French text

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