An Interesting Temperature

Published by patrick honner on

The installation of on-board viewscreens has really made flying a lot more fun for everyone.  But while most people enjoy watching movies or playing video games, I enjoy analyzing flight data.

As I tracked the numbers for this particular flight, I started to get excited in anticipation of the external temperature hitting -40 degrees.  This is a rather special temperature, as it is the unique temperature that is the same in Fahrenheit or Celsius!  Some simple algebra tells us so.

\frac{9}{5}x + 32 = x


x = -40

Unfortunately, as we started to descend, the temperature was changing more rapidly than the data was updating, so I missed it.


But if we assume temperature is a continuous function, at least we know it had to be -40 out there at some point!

Categories: Appreciation

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


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