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Thermal Physics IB Physics

Topic 3 & Option C


Understanding the words

Temperature Heat Heat capacity The 0, 1, 2 laws of thermodynamics

(one of) Kelvins legacys

WilliamThompson (Lord Kelvin)

What is Heat?

Perception as to hot and cold defined relative to our own body temperature, i.e. object is hotter or colder than oneself Objective measurement of temperature

I feel hot

Macroscopic, display of temperature gauge Microscopic behaviour of atoms and molecules

Measuring temperature

Properties of materials change with temperature



Hotter things become longer

All(?) solids get bigger when they get hot


1 metre long bar heated by 1 degree gets bigger by

Steel 0.01 mm Glass 0.001 mm Zerodur 0.0001mm Rails expand and may buckle on a hot summer day

A bimetallic strip

Join two metals with different coefficient of thermal expansion

e.g. fire alarm

Hotter things take up more volume -1

Most materials get bigger when they get hot (but not water 0C > 4C gets smaller!)

relies on a thermal expansion of a liquid (e.g.mercury)

Thin tube (Gives big length change for small increase in volume)

Large volume of reservoir

Hotter things take up more volume -2

Gases (as we will see) can behave near perfectly


Hotter things change their resistance

All hotter metals have a higher electrical resistance or conductivity



All hotter semiconductors have a lower electrical resistance


definition between to distinguish metals and insulators!

You have a (glass) jar and you cant get the metal lid off. What should you do:

a) ask your girlfriend b) run the jar & lid under cold water c) run the jar & lid under hot water


a) ask your girlfriend b) run the jar & lid under cold water

c) run the jar & lid under hot water

Because the metal has a substantially higher coefficient of thermal expansion than the glass, heating them will make both of them bigger, but the metal will be more bigger.

How long do you have to leave a thermometer in your mouth?

Hot things stay hot if you insulate them, e.g.


in a vacuum flask (keeps things cold too) an explorer in a fur coat

The mercury in the thermometer must reach the same temperature as you Thermal Equilibrium!!


Example of good (thermal) insulators

A vacuum, polystyrene, fibreglass, plastic, wood, brick (low density/foam structure, poor electrical conductors)

Examples of poor insulators, i.e. good conductors

Most metals (but stainless steel better than copper) e.g. gold contact used within IC chips to prevent heating Gases, liquids (high density, mobile, good electrical conductors)

Ask a friend if its cool enough to eat

Your friend eats the hot loaf and says it cool enough to eat (i.e it is close enough to their own temperature that it does not burn) Is it safe for you to eat too If it is safe for him, its safe for you!

The 0th law of thermodynamics

If A and B are each in thermal equilibrium with C then A and B are in thermal equilibrium with L each other


If Alfred and the Bread are the same temperature as Cliff then Alf is the same temperature as the Bread.

Cliff Alf

Temperature and scales

Temperature scales (melting & boiling of water)


Celsius (MP 0C 100C) Degrees Kelvin (MP 273.15 K BP 373.15 K) Degree Fahrenheit (MP 32 F BP 212F)

Explain how a temperature scale is constructed.

The Common Temperature Scales

Fahrenheit & Celsius

Celsius & Fahrenheit

Absolute zero
Ideal gas has zero volume Resistance of metal drops to zero

(actually superconductivity cuts in above 0K)

Brownian motion ceases

(kinetic energy due to thermal excitation)

But lowest temperature attained is 10-9K

Absolute zero, 0K

Lord Kelvin

William Thompson, born Belfast 1824 Student in Natural Philosophy Professor at 22! Baron Kelvin of Largs in 1897 A giant

Thermodynamics, Foams, Age of the Earth, Patents galore!

Converting between scales

State the relation between Kelvin & Celsius Scales.

Kelvin to Celsius

= C + 273.15 C = K - 273.15

Fahrenheit to Celsius (Not IB)


= C x (9/5) + 32 C = (F - 32) x (5/9)


Convert the following temperatures into F and K Boiling water, 100C Freezing water, 0C Absolute zero, -273.15C

212F, 373.15K 32F, 273.15K -460F, 0K

Type of thermometer
Change in electrical resistance (convenient but not very linear) Change in length of a bar (bimetallic strip) Change in volume of a liquid Change in volume of gas (very accurate but slow and bulky)

Heat and internal energy

Can you describe the difference between the terms.




Temperature & Absolute Temperature

Temperature is a property that determines the direction of thermal energy transfer between two bodies in thermal contact.
Absolute temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules of a substance.

Average kinetic energy is proportional to absolute temperature in Kelvin.

3 KEavg kT 2


What is the kinetic energy of an oxygen molecule at room temperature ( 21C)?

(k = 1.38x10-23J/K)

KE = 3/2 kT = 3/2(1.38x10-23 x 294) = 6.09 x 10-21 Joules We could equate

Since we know the kinetic energy, how is it travelling?

This is called the root mean squared speed or rms speed.

KE = 1/2 mv2 = KE = 3/2 kT and get v2 = 3kT/m

mass must be in kg!!!! Not u.

Heat (Energy)
Is the flow of energy in or out of a system. Heat (energy) flows because of temperature difference


temperature difference bigger heat

flow Less insulation give more heat flow for the same temperature difference

Heat will not flow between two bodies of the same temperature


Two objects of different temperature when placed in contact will reach the same temperature

Cold milk Light brown coffee Hot black coffee

Heat transfer = energy transfer

Energy measured in Joules but heat often measured in Calories

One cal raises one gram of water from 14.5C to 15.5C 1 cal = 4.186J Joules Experiment!

Doing work on something usually makes it hot

1st law of thermodynamics heat and work are both forms of energy

Sir James Joule

James Prescott Joule 1818-1889 Stirring water made it warm

Change in temperature proportional to work done Showing equivalence of heat and mechanical energy

Also that electrical current flow through a resistor causes heating

Joules Experiment

Internal Energy

Is the total potential and kinetic energy of the molecules in a substance.


energy is associated with intermolecular forces. energy includes both translational and rotational motion.


Three Phases Atomic Model

Three States of Ordinary Matter Solid liquid gas

Atomic Model of Matter

Comparing Molecular Forces

Largest molecular forces Liquid Gas Weakest molecular forces

When the kinetic energy of the molecules become comparable to the energy required for separation the molecules change there position and separate (PE increase). This is a phase transition Melting or vaporizing

Avogadro constant

One mole a any substance is that quantity of the substance whose mass in grams is numerically equal to the substances molar mass, .
The moloar mass of O2 is 32 g mol-1 NA = 6.02 x 1023 molecules mol-1


How many grams are there in a quantity of oxygen gas containing 1.2 x 1025 molecules?

The number of moles is (1.20 x 1025)/6.02 x 1023 = 19.93 mol

Since the molar mass is 32 g mol-1 The mass is 19.93 x 32 = 638 g or 0.638 kg


So, how fast is that O2 molecule traveling?

v2 = 3kT/m (rms speed of a molecule)

m = 0.032/(6.023 x 1023) = 5.3x10-26 kg

O2 = 32 g/mole

v2 = 3(1.38 x 10-23J/K)(294)/(5.3x10-26 kg)

v = 479 m/sec

Transferring heat energy

3 mechanisms

Heat transfer through material


Heat transfer by movement of hot material


Heat transfer by light

Conduction of heat

Conduction in solids

Heat energy causes atoms to vibrate, a vibrating atom passes this vibration to the next Heat energy causes electrons to gain energy, electrons travel through metal (conduction) and carry heat energy with them
Metals are good conductors of both heat and electricity

Conduction in metal

Conduction of heat

The atoms at the bottom are at a higher temperature and will oscillating more strongly than those at the top.

Rate of heat flow

Heat flow (H) is energy transfer per unit time, depends on

Temperature difference Thermal conductivity (k) k (copper) = 385 W/(m K) k (glass) = 0.8 W/(m K) k (air) =0.02 W/(m K)

TH TC Q H kA t L




Two rods of the same cross-sectional area are joined together. The right rod is a better conductor of heat than the rod at Heat entering the joint must equal the left. The ends are kept at heat leaving the joint. (Conservation of Energy). Hence, the rate of heat fixed temperatures.

In which rod is the rate of heat transfer the largest? Is the temperature at the joining point lower are higher than 54 C?

transfer is the same. Since the second conductor is poor a much larger temperature gradient can be maintained. Thus, the temperature at the junction will be larger.

Thermal conduction vs thermal resistance

Also can use thermal resistance, cf

i.e. R L kA

Can make equation of heat flow more general

Q T H kA t x

Convection of heat

Hot air rises (and takes its heat with it!)


Convection of heat

Hot air rises (and takes its heat with it!)



Figure 16-11 Alternating Land and Sea Breezes

Convection of heat
Hurricanes Plate tectonics

Radiation of heat

Dont confuse with radioactivity Instead realize that light carries heat (e.g. the sun heats the earth) Anything above absolute zero radiates heat

P aAT4 Stefan-Boltzmann law.

Radiation of heat

involves the generation and absorption of photons. Unlike conduction or convection, however, radiation requires no intervening medium to transport the heat.

All objects radiate energy continuously in the form of electromagnetic waves

The hotter an object the more power it radiate sand the shorter the wavelength of the peak emission wavelength

Not all things emit heat the same

Heat emission from an object area A


= AesT4
s = Stafans constant = 5.6x10-8 W/(m2 K4) e = emissivity of a body, 0 -1 ecopper = 0.3 ecarcoal 1


Estimate the upper limit to the heat emission of the sun

Emission, P = AesT4 Area = 4pr2 = 6.2 x 1018 m2 Emissivity 1 H = 6.2 x 1018 x 5.6x10-8x70004 Suns output = 8.3 x 1026 W

Suns temperature 7000k Suns radius 7x108m

Are heat emitter also good absorbers?

Black and dull on the surface

Best emitter/absorber Charcoal Blackbody radiators

perfect absorber & emitter

White and polished/shiny

Good Reflectors Stay cool in the summer

Figure 16-12 The Thermos Bottle Discuss the operation of a thermos making reference to methods of heat exchange.


Questions from Packet. 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 18, 19.

The colour of heat

Peak wavelength of light emitted depends on temperature Spectrum includes all wavelength longer than the peak but not many above

20C - peak in infrared (need thermal imaging camera to see body heat) 800C - peak in red (electric coil, fire glows reds) 3000 - peak in blue (but includes green and red light hence appears white) 2.7K peak in micro-wave (background emission in the universe left over from the Big Bang)