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Temperature Definition

Temperature measures the average kinetic energy of atoms in a substance. For example, higher readings on a thermometer indicate faster particle movement.

View Lesson on Heat: Transfer of Thermal Energy
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Heat: Transfer of Thermal Energy

Fun Facts

  • It takes more heat to raise the temperature of water than the temperature of metal.
  • Temperature is not a property of particular materials. Materials exposed to the same conditions will have the same temperature.
  • Temperature does not depend on size.

Why Do We Need To Know About Temperature

Learning about temperature helps us understand why it’s important to know how heat moves. For example, knowing why jackets keep us warm by not letting heat escape, or how emergency blankets keep body heat in, shows how temperature is used in making clothes and in first aid.

This knowledge is also used in things like solar cookers that cook food using the sun’s heat, and in everyday items like clothing irons. It’s important for flying planes, making computers, and studying the weather on other planets. Knowing about temperature is useful in many areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between heat and thermal energy?
Thermal energy is the energy contained within a system due to the motion of the particles. Heat is the transfer of thermal energy from a warmer system/object to a cooler system/object.
When the temperature of an object decreases, what has happened?
The particles (atoms/molecules) that make up that object are moving slower. Heat has been transferred from the object to its surroundings or to another object.
What factors determine the thermal properties of a material?
The amount of material (mass) and its composition (what it’s made of).
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