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# Thermodynamically Correct Thermostat Indicator

Which way is up?
 (+4) [vote for, against]

When I reach to twiddle the temperature control knob on my car's thermostat, I get confused. I can't remember if the red or blue color code means hotter or cooler. Why? Because everyone who has studied thermodynamics knows that cooler objects emit redder light and hotter objects emit bluer light. Yet the code in the typical car has it exactly backwards! (Designers seem to associate red with fire and blue with ice water - silly if you ask me.)

Solution: A full spectrum thermodynamically correct color code on the control knob. Blue is hottest, red coolest, other colors in between in correct order.

 — sqeaketh the wheel, May 15 2012

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Do you mind if I slip in and swap the coloured knobs on your shower taps, while you're not looking?
 — UnaBubba, May 15 2012

Thats exactly how I 'repaired' the kids shower last month. I crawled under the house to see why there wasn't any hot water and couldn't see anyway there could be a problem. The wife was going to call a plumber (ie someone who knows what they're doing), when I went to the shower and put the knobs back on the right way 'round.
 — AusCan531, May 15 2012

How about running resistor wires through the knob or lever? As you experiment moving it to the left or right the knob gets instantly hotter or colder to your fingers.
 — AusCan531, May 15 2012

I don't think the idea, as written, is of much use to the 10% of males who are colourblind.
 — UnaBubba, May 15 2012

 Perhaps some different colors would be better, because you are trying to overturn Tradition.

So, how about green for cool and fluorescent violet for hot? Thermodynamically, violet is hotter than green, and people tend to associate green with coolness, about as much as they associate blue with it.
 — Vernon, May 15 2012

I am eternally thankful that the engineers who build cars have the common sense and restraint to not build cars _for_ engineers.
 — Alterother, May 15 2012

Amen to that.
 — UnaBubba, May 15 2012

Spoilsports.
 — 8th of 7, May 15 2012

Oh, do shut up. You actually imagine that a Series IIA Land-Rover station wagon is a car, don't you?
 — UnaBubba, May 15 2012

Certainly not; it is far superior to a mere car…
 — 8th of 7, May 15 2012

// slip in and swap the coloured knobs // are you talking about my bundy pants again?
 — oscil8, May 15 2012

This could be expanded so that, for example,a car has all instruments and controls in some sort of Physics representation.i.e. SI units, increasing average wavelength, probability distribution.
 — Ling, May 15 2012

Mate, I'm trying not to even *think* about your Pervy Intrapersonal Hanky-panky Panties.
 — UnaBubba, May 15 2012

 //all instruments and controls in some sort of Physics representation.i.e. SI units//

I actually prefer the American system of units: e.g., for speed, 'furlongs per fortnight,' etc.
 — sqeaketh the wheel, May 15 2012

Howabout some ISO pictures of 'fire' and 'ice?'
 — RayfordSteele, May 15 2012

Pshh, cars with knobs? Most cars have buttons that let you tune the temperature to the degree.
 — DIYMatt, May 15 2012

 // Howabout some ISO pictures of 'fire' and 'ice?' //

I've seen some with a little pictogram of a flame on the right and a snowflake on the left. Can't remember what make, though. Volvo, maybe?
 — Alterother, May 15 2012

Just for fun, I am sure there's an Over-Engineer somewhere who programmed the control so that the snowflake represented "I feel cold".
 — Ling, May 15 2012

// Howabout some ISO pictures of 'fire' and 'ice?' //
I've certainly seen them - possibly in a VW circa 1982?
 — gnomethang, May 15 2012

 Thermodynamically correct?

Let's see: PV=nRT, that's pressure times volume equals number of moles of gas, times the gas constant, times the thermodynamic temperature. The thermostat doesn't change your house's volume or atmospheric pressure, so you could combine all that with the gas constant, (PV)/R=nT. So it would be perfectly valid to set up the thermostat to dial up/down the amount of air molecules in the house.
 — lurch, May 15 2012

 //the amount of air molecules in the house//

You will need to compensate for changes in atmospheric pressure.
 — neelandan, May 16 2012

 Yup.

"There's a storm a comin', Anni, go turn down the atmonumistat..."
 — lurch, May 17 2012

Sounds like something from "Blast From The Past", starring Brendan Fraser as an anachronistically inept time traveller... again.
 — UnaBubba, May 17 2012

You might want to reverse the colors of heaven and hell while you're at it.
 — ldischler, May 17 2012

This is a super idea. If I weren't renting this place I would swap my taps at once.
 — pocmloc, May 17 2012

 You RENT the HB, [pocmloc]? Holy cow! How the other half lives, eh?

<wanders off in search of the taps, here in the HB>
 — UnaBubba, May 18 2012

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