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Heat and Temperature

What is Temperature?

The degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment. A measure of the warmth or coldness of an object or substance with reference to some standard value. A measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample of matter, expressed in terms of units or degrees designated on a standard scale. A measure of the ability of a substance, or more generally of any physical system, to transfer heat energy to another physical system. Measured directly by a thermometer. Any of various standardized numerical measures of this ability, such as the Kelvin, Fahrenheit, and Celsius scale.

Temperatures expressed by the Fahrenheit scale can be converted to the Celsius scale equivalent using the equation below: C = F/1.8 - 32 Similarly, temperatures expressed by the Celsius scale can be converted tot he Fahrenheit scale equivalent using the equation below: F= 1.8C + 32 The zero point on the Kelvin scale is known as absolute zero. It is the lowest temperature that can be achieved. The concept of an absolute temperature minimum was promoted by Scottish physicist William Thomson (a.k.a. Lord Kelvin) in 1848. Thomson theorized based on thermodynamic principles that the lowest temperature which could be achieved was -273C. Prior to Thomson, experimentalists such as Robert Boyle (late 17th century)

were well aware of the observation that the volume (and even the pressure) of a sample of gas was dependent upon its temperature. Measurements of the variations of pressure and volume with changes in the temperature could be made and plotted. Plots of volume vs. temperature (at constant pressure) and pressure vs. temperature (at constant volume) reflected the same conclusion - the volume and the pressure of a gas reduces to zero at a temperature of -273C. Since these are the lowest values of volume and pressure that are possible, it is reasonable to conclude that -273C was the lowest temperature that was possible.

C = K - 273.15 K = C + 273.15 What is Heat? Heat is simply the transfer of energy from a hot object to a colder object.

English physicist James Prescott Joule took up where Thompson left off, delivering several fateful blows to the caloric theory through a collection of experiments. Joule, for whom the standard metric unit of energy is now named, performed experiments in which he experimentally related the amount of mechanical work to the amount of heat transferred from the mechanical system. In one experiment, Joule allowed falling weights to turn a paddle wheel that was submerged in a reservoir of water. The falling weights did work on the paddle wheel, which in turn heated the water. Joule measured both the amount of mechanical work done and the amount of heat gained by the water. Similar experiments demonstrating that heat could be generated by an electric current dealt a further blow to the thought that heat was a fluid that was contained within substances and was always conserved.

Methods of Heat Transfer


If you have been following along since the beginning of this lesson, then you have been developing a progressively sophisticated understanding of temperature and heat. You should be developing a model of matter as consisting of particles which vibrate (wiggle about a fixed position), translate (move from one location to another) and even rotate (revolve about an imaginary axis). These motions give the particles kinetic energy. Temperature is a measure of the average amount of kinetic energy possessed by the particles in a sample of matter. The more the particles vibrate, translate and rotate, the greater the temperature of the object. You have hopefully adopted an understanding of heat as a flow of energy from a higher temperature object to a lower temperature object. It is the temperature difference between the two neighboring objects that causes this heat transfer. The heat transfer continues until the two objects have reached thermal equilibrium and are at the same temperature. The discussion of heat transfer has been structured around some everyday examples such as the cooling of a hot mug of coffee and the warming of a cold can of pop. Finally, we have explored a thought experiment in which a metal can containing hot water is placed within a Styrofoam cup containing cold

water. Heat is transferred from the hot water to the cold water until both samples have the same temperature. Conduction

The mechanism in which heat is transferred from one object to another object through particle collisions is known as conduction. In conduction, there is no net transfer of physical stuff between the objects. Nothing material moves across the boundary. The changes in temperature are wholly explained as the result of the gains and losses of kinetic energy during collisions. Convection Convection is the process of heat transfer from one location to the next by the movement of fluids. The moving fluid carries energy with it. The fluid flows from a high temperature location to a low temperature location. Radiation Radiation is the transfer of heat by means of electromagnetic waves. To radiate means to send out or spread from a central location. Whether it is light, sound, waves, rays, flower petals, wheel spokes or pain, if something radiates then it protrudes or spreads outward from an origin. The transfer of heat by radiation involves the carrying of energy from an origin to the space surrounding it. The energy is carried by electromagnetic waves and does not involve the movement or the interaction of matter. Thermal radiation can occur through matter or through a region of space that is void of matter (i.e., a vacuum). In fact, the heat received on Earth from the sun is the result of electromagnetic waves traveling through the void of space between the Earth and the sun