when 2 people are close will the warmest person transfer calories to the other through radiating heat?



when 2 people are close will the warmest person transfer calories to the other through radiating heat?

In: Biology

Where the hell did you read that? If that happened it would be magic.

I’m guessing you probably misinterpreted an article, or the article itself misinterpreted something. The thing that was misinterpreted was probably the relationship between temperature and calorie expenditure. A big part of where our calories go is into producing heat. Someone who’s very cold will need to burn extra calories to generate more heat to warm themselves up, and someone who is in a cold place will need to burn extra calories to generate more heat to counteract heat loss to the environment. So if you got a very cold person and a very warm person and put them next to each other, the very warm person would lose heat a bit faster to the cold person next to them, meaning they burn slightly more calories to keep themselves warm, and the very cold person would need to burn slightly fewer calories themselves to reach a good temperature.

No calorie transfer has actually taken place here, but relatively speaking, one has burned more calories and the other less than they otherwise would have if they were alone in a room-temperature room.

The warmest person would burn more calories than the less warm one, thus producing more heat, the heat is what getting transferred however the calories won’t add up to the less warm person.

No, the warmest person MIGHT slow the rate at which the other person spends calories to heat themselves (which is unlikely, because the heat you share is quite minimal, despite how it feels) but you’re not going to gain calories from anything but eating.

Calories are normally used to describe the energy in foods.

Heat is also energy.

So heat transfer is also energy transfer!

In short, yes, but very little. Warm body radiates heat energy in the form of infrared light – that’s how thermal scanners and infrared thermometers work. This infrared radiation will heat you up a little if it hits you. In some cases this effect is really obvious – for example, the Sun is a major source of infrared radiation, and if you close your eyes and turn your face to the Sun you will readily feel it warming up. So a warm person standing next to you will transfer some heat energy to you through infrared radiation as well. In this case, however, the amount of energy transferred would be very small, because a person is much smaller and much less warm than the Sun.

Yes but no.

A calorie is actually a unit of measuring energy. So if one person is radiating heat and another person is absorbing that heat then energy is being transferred and could be measured as calories.

What people usually mean when they refer to calories are actually dietary kilocalories and the only way for a human to get those is to eat and then digest something. No amount of energy gained from anything else will give a person dietary calories.

I mean, technically yes, since a calorie is just a unit of energy, and you will be transferring energy.

But when most people think of calories they think of food and fat. If you sit near someone you will not be making them fatter, and you won’t make them less hungry. You’ll just warm them up.