This isn't really a homework question per se. I'm studying for my MCAT and I'm having trouble trying to firmly get down some of the concepts in thermodynamics. As far as I know, heat is the means of energy transfer that isn't work from one substance to another due to a difference in temperature between the two substances. Thermal energy is the total amount of kinetic and potential energy in a substance. Temperature is the average (per particle) amount of kinetic and potential energy in a substance. So something that has a lower temperature, like a big chunk of ice, may have more thermal energy than something like a small heated nail. Am I on the right track? I'm not too sure whether temperature/thermal energy is a measure of potential energy and kinetic energy, or just one or the other. Thanks for your help.