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Science

Heating houses

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Heat energy is needed to increase the temperature of an object. The amount of energy needed depends on the mass of the object, the type of material it is made from and the temperature increase.

Heat energy is also absorbed when substances melt or boil, but the temperature does not alter during a change of state. The amount of energy needed to melt or boil something depends upon the mass of the object and the type of material it is made from.

Temperature

Temperature and heat are not the same thing because:

  • temperature is a measure of how hot something is
  • heat is a measure of the thermal energy contained in an object.

Temperature is measured in ºC, and heat is measured in J.

Thermograms

Thermal imaging cameras can detect infrared radiation - the type of radiation emitted by all objects. The images they produce are called thermograms. False colours are added to a thermogram to give an indication of how hot each object in the image is, with:

Thermogram of a pan being heated on a stove

  • the hottest parts are coloured white, yellow or red
  • the coldest parts are coloured purple, dark blue or black.

In the thermogram shown here, the burner and its flame are the hottest parts. The pan and its contents are much colder and have yet to warm up.

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