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Energy transfer and storage


Heat and temperature

Heat and temperature are not the same thing, although both are concerned with thermal energy.


The heat an object contains is the amount of its thermal energy, measured in joules or J.


The temperature of an object is to do with how hot or cold it is, measured in degrees Celsius. Note that the unit of temperature is written as °C, (not °c or oC).


A thermometer is used to measure the temperature of an object

A thermometer is used to measure the temperature of an object

Let's look at two examples to see the difference between heat and temperature.

Example 1

A swimming pool at 30°C is at a lower temperature than a cup of tea at 80°C. But the swimming pool contains more water, so it stores more thermal energy than the cup of tea.

Example 2

To boil water we must increase its temperature to 100°C. It takes longer to boil a large beaker of water than a small beaker because the large beaker contains more water and needs more thermal energy to reach 100°C.

One larger beaker of water and one smaller beaker of water. Both are being heated with bunsen burners. The smaller beaker boils first.


Energy transfer and storage activity

Transfer your energy into this activity.


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