How to Convert Fahrenheit to Kelvin

••• thermometer image by Szymon Apanowicz from

An essential skill for scientists specializing in Earth sciences, chemistry or physics is to be able to convert temperatures using a mathematical formula between the metric scale Kelvin--named after Scottish scientist William Thomson, first Baron Kelvin and based on the boiling and freezing points of water extended to include the theoretical temperature of absolute zero, or complete absence of heat--and Fahrenheit, named for German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and customarily used in weather reporting in the United States.

    Determine the number of degrees in Fahrenheit (F).

    Subtract 32 from degrees Fahrenheit.

    Multiply the resulting number in Step 2 by 5/9.

    Add 273 to the number you found in Step 3. This will give you the degrees Fahrenheit in Kelvin. The total mathematical formula looks like this: K = 5/9 (° F - 32) + 273


    • Technically, this formula first converts Fahrenheit to Celsius (another metric temperature measurement system) in Steps 1 to 3. Step 4 converts Celsius to Kelvin.


About the Author

A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times,", Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo Credits

  • thermometer image by Szymon Apanowicz from