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Heat force?

  1. Dec 25, 2014 #1
    I know that energy transfer can be done through a force or through heat but I was thinking about heat energy causing water to boil and move around. I thought why isn't heat considered a force?

    When there is something hot one can physical perceive heat radiating from the object - it seems analogous to electric field lines radiating out from a charged particle.

    Can someone explain to me why heat is not considered as a force?

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2014 #2


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    What is the definition of energy, and how is it expressed in the fundamental units? What is the definition of force, and how is it expressed in the fundamental units?
  4. Dec 26, 2014 #3
    The definition for energy is not so simple; units are joules (kg*m^2/s^2) a force is an interaction commonly expressed as a push or a pull with units of newtons (kg*m/s^2)

    I can imagine heat pushing molecules thus resulting in increased motion...
  5. Dec 26, 2014 #4


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    Energy is not a force. Do not confuse temperature with heat. This may be the root of your question. Do you understand the difference between heat and temperature?
  6. Dec 26, 2014 #5
    Ok so temperature is basically the measure of motion (energy) of an object's particles and when two things are at different temperatures energy is transferred from the higher temp to lower temp object until both at at the same temperature. This energy transferred is called heat and so as a result of gaining heat an object's particles speed up (gain kinetic energy).

    Ok that makes sense thanks for the guidance.
  7. Dec 26, 2014 #6


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    It might be more helpful to think of forces as "interactions". When two molecules in a gas collide, why do they bounce off of each other? The answer isn't heat or energy, it's because the two particles interact in some manner. This interaction decelerates and then accelerates the particles during the collision event and is what allows the transfer of energy to take place. This interaction is why more energetic particles are able to transfer their energy to less energetic ones, allowing you to boil water in the first place. With an interaction, two particles will simply pass right through each other and no transfer of energy or heat will take place.
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