Thermal Energy Study Guide

ENERGY: the ability to make things change or move; energy exists in several
forms! Scientists call this ability to make things move or change WORK!
RADIANT ENERGY: energy that travels as waves and can move through empty
WAVELENGTH: the distance from a point on one wave to the same point on
the next wave
THERMAL ENERGY: energy of moving particles in an object. Think: HEAT
HEAT: thermal energy flowing from the particles of one object to those of
another object
TEMPERATURE: the measure of thermal energy (how quickly particles move in
an object!). When you take your temperature you are measuring the thermal
energy in your body.
THERMOMETER: the most common tool for measuring temperature
CONDUCTION: the movement of heat by particles of matter colliding or
bumping into each other; One way that heat moves is by conduction! When
particles collide, faster particles give up some of their energy to slower ones.
(Think: Hot soup passes it’s thermal energy to a metal spoon and then do your
CONDUCTORS: objects that allow thermal energy or electricity to move
through them easily (Example: Metals. Think: Don’t stir hot soup with a
metal spoon!)
INSULATORS: objects that do not allow heat or electrical energy to move
through them very well (Examples: wood, paper, plastics, cloth. Think: heavy
wool sweaters that keep your body warm and pot holders that protect your
hands from hot pans!)