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Heat and temperature - Coursework Example

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Heat and temperature

As the kinetic theory of matter deals with the speed of particles of matter then the determination of particle speed can help us to study the kinetic theory of matter in greater detail. Therefore, the study of heat helps us to study the kinetic theory of matter. Heat is a form of energy that is transferred from one body to another in a system. When a warmer body is placed along a colder body, the heat from the warmer body will tend to go to the colder body. This process will continue until the energy of both systems becomes equal. (Reif, 2000) There are three modes of heat transfer better known as conduction, convection and radiation. Heat energy is important as it has direct relation to the physical state of a system. The addition of heat energy excites the particles present in a system. This enhances their random motion. Similarly, the removal of heat energy depresses the particles in a system which decreases their random motion. Temperature is a measurement that helps to quantify just how hot or cold a system is. Like other forms of measurement, the temperature scale is relative too. Temperature is used to measure just how much heat is being talked about. (Chang, 2004) Temperature helps to classify is there is some difference in heat between two bodies. This difference can be used to estimate the amount of heat transfer that will occur between both systems. Heat as already mentioned is a representation of the state of particle’s motion in a system. However, the speed of particles cannot be judged from one particle to the other. Therefore, there had to be some method of measuring the heat contained in a system. When a system contains heat, the particles in the system display random motion. This random motion is dealt with as the kinetic energy of the system. The speed of the particles and their weight are used to express the kinetic energy of a system. The total kinetic energy of a system is the heat content that resides in the system. This heat can be measured in reference to temperature. Temperature expresses the average measure of the heat contained in a system. Temperature expresses the willingness of a system to transfer heat energy if placed along a system with lower heat energy. Therefore, temperature is a method of measuring the total heat content of a system. (Kittel & Kroemer, 1980) Often heat and temperature are assumed to be one and same. However this concept is entirely false. Heat represents the total of a certain kind of energy possessed by a system. The temperature is only a method of measuring this energy possessed by the system. For example, if there were water standing in a pool which represented heat, then the measurement of its depth would be equivalent to temperature. Therefore, heat is a property possessed by a body while temperature is a measure of that body. Heat is possessed by all systems to varying degrees and is transferred by all systems to varying degrees too. However, the amount of heat retained by a system and the amount of heat transferred by a system vary in large part from one material to another. As an example, it is known that metals are good at the transfer of heat and insulators such as rubber are bad at transferring heat. The tendency of a body to both retain and transfer heat can be measured and expressed as well. This is also considered to be a property of the body and is known better as the “ ...Show more


[Heat and temperature] An explanation of heat energy and temperature and their correlation and differences. The kinetic theory of matter expounds amongst other things that particles of matter are in a state of constant motion. The speed with which these particles move is directly related to the amount of energy that these particles posses…
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Heat and temperature essay example
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