1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why is it that things feel ''hot''?

  1. Sep 7, 2010 #1
    Does it have to do with the electrons spinning at higher orbitals and emitting Infared radiation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2010 #2
    Well it's essentially nerves that are responsible for the feeling of "hot" or "cold".
  4. Sep 7, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    IR is one of the three forms of heat transfer. It's radiative.

    Most heat we enocounter when touchung something is conductive - it is simply kinetic energy in the form of agitated atoms bouncing around, i.e. not so much at the electron level.
  5. Sep 13, 2010 #4
    Dave is right. When we touch something 'hot' (like a stove) the atoms of the object we are touching have a much higher KE than the atoms in our body. If the KE difference is high enough, the atomic bonds in our body can be permanently altered (destroyed) from the interaction. An example of this is burning your hand on a stove.
  6. Sep 13, 2010 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    But don't forget - in particular because of the stove example - about radiative heat. That red hot element is putting out a lot of it.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Why is it that things feel ''hot''?
  1. Why we feel colder? (Replies: 9)

  2. Hot water feels cold (Replies: 4)

  3. Why isn't wind hot? (Replies: 26)

  4. Why do we feel this? (Replies: 2)