What is temperature?

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I’ve been thinking about this all night and feel as if I should know this. What is cold, is it the lack of heat or an actual different thing? In other words, are hot and cold real tangible space occupying things and how so?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can think of heat as a kind of energy that is contained in molecules and atoms that basically represents their microscopic movement. If they have more heat energy, they vibrate faster. If they have less, they don’t vibrate and move around so much, but they’re never really *not* moving.

So cold is not really a thing per se. There are just things that are less hot.

There’s a lot more to say here so if you have other questions ask away.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Temperature is energy! But what does that mean? Basically, all the particles we’re made up of can become energized, meaning they move around more. We experience this as heat, and, yes, cold is the lack of heat, or just atoms not moving around very much.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I am going to slightly contradict a few of the other comments.

Heat is the energy stored within a material. This is usually in the form of microscopic vibrations and motion. Rub your hands together and the warmth you will feel is some of the motion of your hand being transfered to the molecules your hands are made up of.

Temperature how well a material is holding on to this heat. If two material come into contact, heat will by it self flow from hot to cold.

How hot or cold something actually depend on how much heat is transfered, so it also depend on the thermal conductivity. Much like you will feel alot colder sleeping without a blanket.

This is also why a sunbaked slide can hurt. It actually does not have that much heat energy, as metals are easy to heat up, however it has a higher temperature than skin, so when you tuch it, heat will flow into your hand. The third factor is that is cunducts heat easily, so the heat will flow quickly, burning your hand.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Temperature more or less corresponds to how much the atoms of something are moving in relation to each other. The faster they’re moving amongst themselves the hotter the object is.

So no, temperature isn’t specifically its own tangible object, only a difference in energy level.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Think of gas in a container, but not as some sort of continuous substance, but as it really is, a bunch of molecules moving every which way, colliding off of each other all the time, etc. If you take average kinetic energy of a molecule, then that is basically what temperature is.

The same is true for solids, particles may be confined from moving about, but they can still vibrate in their place in the substance so they still have kinetic energy.

Coldness is simply lack of heat, less motion, less kinetic energy, means less temperature.

That’s also why there is absolute zero, you can’t have negative kinetic energy, absolute standstill is the slowest you can go. Due to quantum uncertainty principle, even that is not actually achievable.