Heat is different from temperature. Temperature is a measurement that gives us an idea of how much heat is present in a system. Temperature is actually a measure of the average kinetic energy of the vibrating particles of a solid, liquid, or gas. It is not equivalent to heat.

Heat is actually a form of energy resulting from the vibration, movement, and collisions of atoms and molecules. Heat energy is also called thermal energy.

Energy comes in many forms and will change from one form to another. Light, electrical, sound, mechanical, nuclear, and chemical energies can cause substances to heat up by increasing the speed of their molecules. Introducing energy into a system can cause it to heat up. Take away energy, and it cools down. For example, when we are cold, we can jump up and down (introduce energy) to get warmer.

How Is Heat Transferred?

Have you ever noticed when you touch a piece of metal, it often feels cold? Why is that? Interactive popup. Assistance may be required.

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Metals are such good conductors of heat that the metal will “draw the heat out” of your hand.Close Pop Up

At room temperature, your body heat (approximately 98.6° F) is warmer than the objects in the room. When you touch the metal, your body heat causes the molecules in the metal to vibrate more, resulting in heat being transferred from your hand to the metal. This type of transfer is called conduction. Other ways heat is transferred are radiation and convection.

This activity might not be viewable on your mobile device.Interactive exercise. Assistance may be required.Click on the link below for an introduction to each of these methods of heat transfer.

Heat Transfer