Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Few questions about heat?

  1. May 22, 2010 #1
    Quick question about definition of heat

    Hello everyone,

    Ok the definition of heat says it is the total kinetic energy due to random motion of molecules. My question is it really the total kinetic energy. For example I know in inelastic collision heat is released. So is thermal energy really heat released in inelastic collison of molecules. Also if there is a bunch of molecules in a container and they all had elastic collisions, would there be heat in the container. Thanks !!

    Edit: Oh I think I worked it out. Tell me if it is right. The total kinetic energy of individual particles in an object is thermal energy (This is what gives temperature). In inelastic collision heat is given off (which is like like loss of thermal energy because heat is energy transfer). Heat is given off when molecules collide with surrounding air and give some energy I think, this is for an example. In elastic collisions, the shape comes back to orginal shape, so no energy is lost. Also this definition from another website helped me.

    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2017 #2

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Let's close this one.
    [Mentor's Note: Because it's been 7 years since the OP posted it.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook