Difference betweenPhysics

What is the difference between heat and temperature?

Is heat the same as temperature? If not, then What is the difference between heat and temperature? Let us throw some light on this. For some newbie students in Physics, heat, and temperature might be considered the same, but the truth is, they are very different.

What is heat?

Heat is a form of energy that can be transferred from one object or system to another as a result of a difference in temperature. Heat flows naturally from warmer objects to cooler objects until they reach thermal equilibrium or the same temperature. The transfer of heat can occur through three different modes: conduction, convection, and radiation. In conduction, heat is transferred through a material by the movement of electrons or vibrations of atoms. In convection, heat is transferred by the movement of fluids or gases. In radiation, heat is transferred through electromagnetic waves, such as infrared radiation. Heat plays a crucial role in many physical and chemical processes, such as cooking, heating, and cooling.

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The formula for calculating heat is:

Q = mcΔT

where Q is the amount of heat transferred, m is the mass of the object or substance being heated, c is the specific heat capacity of the material, and ΔT is the change in temperature.

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This formula is commonly used to calculate the amount of heat required to change the temperature of a substance or object or to determine the amount of heat released or absorbed during a chemical reaction or process.


Temperature is a measure of the degree of hotness or coldness of an object or substance relative to a standard value. It is a physical quantity that describes the average kinetic energy of the particles in a material or system. The higher the temperature, the faster the particles move and the more kinetic energy they possess. Temperature is usually measured using a thermometer in units of degrees Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F) in everyday life, or in kelvin (K) in scientific applications.

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The Celsius and Fahrenheit scales are based on the freezing and boiling points of water under standard atmospheric conditions, while the Kelvin scale is an absolute temperature scale that starts at absolute zero, the theoretical temperature at which all matter would have zero kinetic energy. Temperature plays a crucial role in many physical and chemical processes, such as cooking, chemical reactions, and weather patterns.

The difference between heat and temperature

As we’ve seen from their respective definitions, Heat, and temperature are related but different concepts in thermodynamics.

MeaningHeat is the amount of energy in a body.Temperature is the measure of the intensity of heat.
MeasuresTotal kinetic and potential energy is contained by molecules in an object.The average kinetic energy of molecules in a substance.
PropertyFlows from the hotter object to a cooler object.Rises when heated and falls when cooled.
Working abilityYesNo
Unit of measurementJoulesKelvin
Labeled asQT

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