Heating and temperature


Medical thermometer, close-up.
A thermometer is used to measure the temperature of an object

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).

All objects contain internal energy. Some of this is due to the movement of the particles in the object. When an object is heated, its particles move more vigorously and its internal energy increases. Unless the object changes state (eg melts or boils), its temperature will increase.

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 internal 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. This is because the large beaker contains more water and needs to gain more internal 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 firstWhen heated, the temperature of a small beaker of water will increase faster than the temperature of a large beaker of water