Heat vs. Thermal Energy

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Dylan Davisson 2B
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Heat vs. Thermal Energy

Postby Dylan Davisson 2B » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:39 pm

It says in the textbook to be careful not to confuse the terms "heat" and "thermal energy." But even the description of what makes them different sounds very similar. I am not sure if I would be able to tell if the energy described in a problem is due to heat or thermal energy unless it was explicitly stated. Does anyone have a way of thinking about these terms so that they can be more easily differentiated?

Joshua Hughes 1L
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Re: Heat vs. Thermal Energy

Postby Joshua Hughes 1L » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:55 pm

"Thermal energy not in the process of being transferred; it is not in transit," You can think of this as the average kinetic of all the atoms of something/a system at a moment, there isn't any transfer of energy.
heat is the transfer/transit of energy
Often times those words are used kind of interchangeably but if it sounds like a problem is talking about the movement/transfer of energy then assume they are talking about heat

Sophia Kim 1C
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Re: Heat vs. Thermal Energy

Postby Sophia Kim 1C » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:04 pm

The way I think of it is that Heat is the TRANSFER of thermal energy from one object of higher energy to another of a lower energy while Thermal Energy is the sum of all the kinetic energy of the object.

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Re: Heat vs. Thermal Energy

Postby Jessica_Singh_1J » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:39 pm

I agree with Sophia. I think of thermal energy as the total internal energy while heat is the form of energy that flows between two objects due to a temperature difference.

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