Heat/Thermal Energy 101 What is the difference between heat

Heat/Thermal Energy 101
1. What is the difference between heat/thermal energy and temperature?
Thermal energy is the total energy in a substance and depends on the mass.
Temperature is the kinetic energy of the molecules and is a measurement of heat.
2. What happens with you add heat energy to any substance?
 The molecules move faster raising the temperature, and possibly a change in the state of
matter, depending on the substance.
You are having a tea party and you have a teapot with one cup of water and one with 10 cups. Which
one will take longer to boil?
Why? The 10 cups will take longer because there is more thermal energy and it took more
electricity to make it boil.
Compare the temperature and the heat of a cup of water, bathtub of water and an iceberg.
 The temperature of the water and the bathtub water could be the same, the iceberg
probably colder, but the heat energy is greatest with the iceberg.
In the summer, what happens if you open a window? What happens in the winter?
 This is a result of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, thermal energy moves from hot to cold.
 Summer – heat comes in. Winter, heat goes out.
It’s the 4th of July and the time for sparklers. Sparklers can reach a temperature of 3,000 degrees. What
would happen if you stuck your hand in a sparkler?
 Nothing. Because the little sparks of metal have very little mass, therefore, very little heat
7. In the “Save the Penguin” activity, we had to create an insulated home for our penguin. Let’s look at
some other examples exploring insulators and conductors:
 Insulator – resists the transfer of heat energy
 Conductor – transfers heat easily
 Examples:
o Melting blocks – insulator, foam, ice cube didn’t melt. Conductor, aluminum, ice
cube melted.
o Tile vs. Carpet – tile conducts heat away from our feet which are cold. Carpet
insulates because it has a lot of air, keeps are feet warm.
o Cup of air vs. water – air is an insulator and water is a conductor. Being outside
during an electrical storm in a pool – not a great idea!
Other insulators – blubber on animals, fur, potholder, weather stripping, insulation,
coats, gloves, hats, etc.
Other conductors – iron, pan, most metals
Both and insulator and conductor – pan with a rubber handle