Energy, heat

Rob Harris (
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 16:49:14 -0000

Something that interested me greatly popped into my head the other day. I was wondering about the relationship between energy and heat. I've studied A level physics, and I don't have the faintest idea of the answer to this, so all you physics masters out there, lend us a brain cell for a minute. What exactly is the difference between energy and heat ? I can't think of one example where heat is a different entity from energy in concrete reality. I mean if you warm your hands on the fire, the warmth exists solely in your mind's interpretation of you hands coming into contact with the energy radiated and conducted from the fire. When friction occurs, surely the "heat" is just our perception of energy "leaking" from the particles involved - after all, we know that all particles have an energy threshold, and we also know that friction is a high energy occurence. So when you throw a ball, you are supplying energy in a specific direction to the projectile. The result is acceleration. But if place your ball next to a fire, the energy received by the object is in the form of either electromagnetic waveforms, the action of which will move the particles up/down as the energy
"direction" is alternated by the waveform, or in the form of "rhythmical
knocking" by other neighbouring particles energised originally by waveforms (conduction). If you touch the energised ball, then the ball particles will
"rhythmically knock" (conduct) their energy to the particles in your hand.
They too will begin to vibrate, and the effect is translated via sensory nerves to the qualium "heat" in your brain. So is there a concrete counterpart for heat, or is it some arbitrary abstraction helpful to the guy that first began studying energy transfer??

I'll have the op and have your kids if you can supply me with the facts.....!