What is the Difference between Heat and Temperature?

Heat and Temperature Video

Hey there! Welcome to this video on heat vs. temperature.

Now, before I dive down into the details, I would like to start by simply defining the two.

Let’s start with heat. Heat is energy in motion from a high temperature entity to a lower temperature entity. Heat is measured in joules. Temperature, on the other hand, can be defined as a measure of internal energy of the entity. Temperature is measured in Kelvin, Celsius, or Fahrenheit.

As you can see, the two are linked, but not the same. Temperature is the product of heat. It also may be helpful to think of heat as a verb. Heat has the ability to do work, but temperature is only used to measure the degree of that work. The more work that is being done or the faster the molecules are moving (the movement of the molecules describing heat) the higher the temperature.

Imagine this: You have a boiling tea kettle, you place your hand on the tea kettle, and it burns your hand; what burned your hand the temperature or the heat? The heat! Because the molecules in the boiling water are moving faster than the molecules in your body. Increasing the movement of the molecules in your hand high enough to tell your brain that this is not normal.

When molecules are moving very quickly we typically conceptualize this as meaning an object is hot. When molecules are moving very slowing we conceptualize this as meaning an object is cold. Cold is actually the absence of heat. So, technically only when there is no movement (or heat) of the molecules is something actually cold.

One reason that the two get confused so often is because of terms like hot and cold. Many people think that hot is just another word for heat. After all, they both start with H, and they do relate to one another. However, hotness is a word used when someone is referring to the temperature of an object (or a girl they like, but that holds no scientific weight).

Well, I hope this video was effective in helping you to understand the difference between heat and temperature. See you next time!



by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: February 3, 2023