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Temperature V. Thermal Energy

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:00 pm
by sneman
What is the difference between temperature and thermal energy?

Re: Temperature V. Thermal Energy

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:28 pm
by 704578485
The trouble when learning about thermal energy(heat) and temperature is that when discussing the two values in terms of thermochemistry and thermodynamics although the two values are related, they are not synonymous even though in our everyday lives we use the terms interchangeably. Also, let's say we are melting an ice cube with the heat from the palm of our hand. Here both the final thermal energy and temperature will be higher because we are not working in ideal lab conditions. When an ice cube melts in your palm, there is a specific amount of thermal energy that must be transferred from your palm to the ice cube for a phase change to occur. After this, your palm is still transferring more heat to the sample, causing an increase in temperature. However, if you were working with ideal lab conditions and added the minimum energy required for the ice cube to experience a phase change, you would only alter the physical state of the H2O rather than it's temperature. In most cases an increase of energy in the form of heat will result in a temperature increase. Only when a substance is changing phases will added heat not result in higher temperatures until the minimum joules of energy required for a physical change of state has been overcome.