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Homework Help: How much thermal energy it takes to raise the temperature

  1. Apr 9, 2012 #1
    It's not really homework, it's more of my own testing of a hypothesis, but I don't really know where else to put it.
    I need a way to convert kinetic energy directly to thermal energy as find out how much thermal energy it takes to raise the temperature of the atmosphere 1 degree, or I guess Earth's atmosphere's specific heat.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2012 #2
    Re: Conversion

    Ok, im not really sure what your asking. I guess that the most efficent way to convert Kinetic energy into Thermal energy would be through some form of Hyrdaulic Friction, but this could never be 100% efficent as some energy would be converted into sound.

    As for the whole Thermal energy atmosphere thing, i guess the best way to go would be to find the Specific heat capacity of the atmosphere (c), the mass of the atmosphere (M) and the quantity of heat in Joules that is converted from kinetic energy (q). Then apply these to the Equation:

    q=McT (with T being the change in temperature - Hope this Helps :)

    Now i've finished writing this i suddenly relise that this thread shouldn't be in the coursework section of the forum. For future reference please put questions like this in the Physics section of the website.
  4. Apr 10, 2012 #3
    Re: Conversion

    Huh, I thought this topic got deleted since i couldn't find it before...I have another topic if you want to continue on that one...
    Specific heat...So I would need at least 3 variables to be filled in for it to be useful, but how am I suppose to predict the temperature change and how much joules that it's suppose to convert to if I am using that equation to find out how many joules the kinetic energy equals at once?
    Unless your saying I just plug in my value for kinetic energy in place of "q"? Or how do I convert kinetic energy into thermal energy or "joules"? I never really understood how to use specific heat. I know that its suppose to tell you the amount of energy required to raise a mass 1 degree or something like that, but that's it...

    The mass of Earth's atmosphere is approximately
    5.3 × 10^18 kg


    I don't know what the temperature change is, I'm trying to predict that...
    I don't know the specific heat capacity...
    I don't know how many joules I have which is currently in the form of kinetic energy...

    Unless maybe kinetic energy and joules are that much of the same thing that I can use kinetic energy as joules?
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  5. Apr 14, 2012 #4
    Re: Conversion

    1 joule of any energy, is equal to 1 joule of any other energy. So you can simply put in your value for kinetic energy (q).

    Specific heat capacity is the amount of energy it takes increase the temperature of 1kg of a material by 1ºC. I believe the specific heat capactiy of dry air is 1.006 kJ/kgC. But this would not be constant throughout the entire atmosphere of the world.
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