Temperature/Kinetic Energy Question

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In summary, the conversation discusses the relationship between temperature and kinetic energy, specifically in regards to an object moving in a vacuum. The conclusion is that the temperature of the object would not change significantly, as temperature is measured from a frame where the object's center of mass is at rest.
  • #1
Hyphon
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Just a quick question:

I have always been told that the temperature of a substance was a measurement of the average kinetic energy of the molecules. If I were to throw a ball in space (i.e no air resistance), does this mean the ball now has a higher temperature since it is moving faster and all its molecules have a higher kinetic energy?

Thanks
 
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  • #2
I suppose the possible difference would be neglible. Divide the KE gain over all the atoms in the ball and you're going to get a really really really small number.
 
  • #3
No. Temperature is a measure of the average KE of the molecules measured from a frame in which the center of mass of the object is at rest. (Otherwise temperature would be frame dependent.)

You might find this discussion helpful: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=75824
 
  • #4
Doc Al said:
No. Temperature is a measure of the average KE of the molecules measured from a frame in which the center of mass of the object is at rest. (Otherwise temperature would be frame dependent.)

Damn it. That's what I get for not thinking things through before posting. And it's so obvious too.
 

1. What is temperature and how is it related to kinetic energy?

Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance. As the temperature increases, so does the average kinetic energy of the particles.

2. How are temperature and kinetic energy different?

While temperature measures the average kinetic energy of particles, kinetic energy is the energy that a particle possesses due to its motion. Temperature is a macroscopic property, while kinetic energy is a microscopic property.

3. What is the relationship between temperature and the speed of particles?

As the temperature increases, the speed of particles also increases. This is because an increase in temperature means an increase in kinetic energy, which translates to faster movement of particles.

4. How does temperature affect the state of matter?

Temperature plays a crucial role in determining the state of matter. As the temperature increases, the particles in a substance gain more kinetic energy and move faster, leading to a change in state from solid to liquid to gas.

5. Can temperature affect the chemical properties of a substance?

Yes, temperature can affect the chemical properties of a substance. Higher temperatures can cause chemical reactions to occur more quickly, while lower temperatures can slow down or even prevent certain reactions from happening.

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