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Touching Steam

Warmness is illustrated by this icon for a steaming pot of food.

Any mild perception of heat that happens in routine human activity is called a safe thermal sensation. Safe thermal sensations are described using words like warm, cool, balmy, chilly, tepid and lukewarm. They are similar to the temperature of a living person. The reference experience for these sensations is touching steam. So to make a binary description of a safe thermal sensation, compare it to steam . Report the result using one of the following algebraic statements.

If the two experiences are not comparable, then say that the sensation is not a safe thermal sensation and express this as \delta_{\tau}=0 . If the sensation is like touching steam, then say that it is warm. Express this as \delta_{\tau}=+1 . If not, then say that it is cool and that \delta_{\tau}=-1 . The number \delta_{\tau} is called the warmness. These relations are mathematically expressed by

\delta_{\tau} \equiv \begin{cases} +1 &{\text{if a safe thermal sensation is warm }} \\ \; \; 0 &{\text{if a thermal sensation is not safe}} \\ -1 &{\text{if a safe thermal sensation is cool }} \end{cases}

Reference Constant for Warmness

The numerical constant associated with the thermal sensation of touching steam is called the boiling point of water. It is symbolized by T_{\mathsf{boil}}. For ordinary terrestrial conditions near sea-level, it has a value of T_{\mathsf{boil}} = 100 \     \left(   {\degree} \mathsf{\textsf{C}}  \right) For more about how this number is used, please see the discussion of laboratory experiments and the temperature of charmed quarks.