# The difference between heat and temperature?

Really a good question!

Heat: Heat is the thermal energy (kinetic energy) that is transferred from one body to another. It is measured in metric unit termed Joules (symbol J). As mentioned above heat is transferred spontaneously from objects of higher temperature to ones of lower temperature (warmer to colder bodies).

Temperature: Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles that make up the substance.

Our understanding of what heat is and how it is different from temperature has not always been so clear. The activity below will help students understand some of the background behind our present day theories of heat.
Microscopic point of view

Temperature is, but for the unit of measure, the average energy an atom (or molecule)) of a given body has due to its microscopic random motion. Different types of motions contributes to the temperature: translation, rotation vibrations and so on.

Heath is the energy that is exchanged by a hot and a cold body due to the different temperature. The energy exchange is due to the collisions at the bodies contact surface (at least if heat is exchanged by conduction). The hot body has more energetic molecules, when they collide with less energetic molecules in the cold body generally they transfer energy to them at microscopic level. The average of this phenomenon on the huge number of molecules (or atoms) a macroscopic body is made of is a net energy transfer that is called heath.

Other types of heath transfer (like transfer by radiation or by convection) are more complicated to describe but the principle is the same.

Macroscopic Point of View

Temperature is an intensive (do not depend on mass) thermodynamic function representing the tendency of a body to give up heath.

Heath is the form of energy at the lower entropy level (that is made by more disordered phenomena). Heath is an extensive function (it is proportional to the mass of the body).

Heath passes from bodies at higher temperature to bodies at lower temperature spontaneously, while the opposite process (happening for example inn refrigerators) has to be driven artificially by using some type of work (electrical work in standard refrigerators).