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The kinetic theory of matter explains the manner in which molecules and atoms, particularly in gaseous form, behave. The kinetic theory of matter has a composition of a huge number of particles that are in constant motion. The theory explains how the flow or transfer of heat happens. It also explains the relationship between temperature, pressure and the volume property of gases. The study of heat relates to the kinetic theory of matter because both the kinetic theory of matter and the transfer of heat happen in motion. The transfer of heat is associated with the motion of molecules or atoms. In a similar way, the kinetic theory of matter states that all matter engage vigorous action. Heat is the transfer of thermal energy from one object that has a high temperature to another one that has a low temperature. The kinetic theory of matter explains the heat transfer through conduction also known as heat flow.
Temperature refers to the measure of the average thermal or kinetic energy of the atoms inside a substance or object. Temperature does not depend on the amount or number of particles that are in a substance or object because temperature is an average measurement or value. For instance, the measure of temperature in water that is boiling in a cup is the same with the measure of the temperature water boiling in a large pot. The measure does not depend on the fact that the pot could have millions of water molecules as compared to the molecules present in the cup. Usually, temperature is measured through the use of thermometers that can be calibrated and customized into various scales. Temperature is caused by the movement of particles. Temperature increases as the motion of particles increases through translational motion or internal energy caused by molecular vibration of electron energy level (Butz, 2002).
Heat and temperature are interrelated but are not the same. Temperature is understood as a property of a system that determines the probability of heat to be transferred from one object or substance to another one. The production of heat is understood as the production of energy. When heat is introduced on an object or a substance, the object or substance can get a rise in temperature. The increase in kinetic energy caused by heat is registered through the rise in temperature, which changes proportionately to the change in heat. Therefore, temperature and heat are related in the sense that temperature is a number that is directly proportional to kinetic energy produced by heat. Therefore, temperature and heat are different in the sense that temperature is denoted by the amount of energy produced by heat (Bouquard, 2004).
As defined earlier, heat is a form of energy that is transferred from one object that has high temperature to the other that has low temperature. There are various properties of a substance that determine the capacity of heat. Heat capacity is a property of a particular substance that differs from substances to substance. It is the amount of heat energy that is necessary to hoist the temperature of a substance. The mass, volume and pressure in a substance determine its heat capacity. The heat capacity of an object or substance is directly comparative to the quantity of substance that is present in the object. The amount of substance in the object is measured in terms of volume, pressure or mass. Other properties that affect the specific heat capacity of a substance include the hydrogen bonds available, per mole of molecules and atoms, impurities and degrees of freedom in the substance. The property of substance that the specific heat capacity describes is the heat that the substance takes, to increase the temperature. The degrees of freedom are also important because different types of freedoms allow the particles in the substance to store thermal energy. When there is a larger amount of freedom degrees towards the particles of an object it increased the heat capacity of an object (Bouquard, 2004).
There are several sources that produce heat. Ambient air is a widely available source of heat especially for heat pumps, commercial and residential buildings. Exhaust air is also important in the production of heat for heat pumps. The sun is also another source of heat. It is a natural source of heat that does not deplete. The heat produced by the sun is important for many things that include all living things. The heat provided by sun, also known as solar energy is important for electricity purposes. The earth, itself, is also a resource of heat because it produces heat known as geothermal energy. This heat can be found in hot water and rocks that are located in shallow grounds. Ground water, also available in temperatures that stabilize at 4 to 10 degrees Celsius, can be used to tap the heat source through open or closed systems. Burning fuels can also generate heat. Examples of these fuels include kerosene, coal, charcoal, oil, wood and gasoline (Bulian & Graystone, 2009).
Heat can also be generated from a wide variety of other sources that include friction, nuclear reactions, electricity, waste heat recovery and waste water. There are so many sources from which heat can be generated from. As such, heat is very important in maintaining the lives of living things directly or indirectly. As discussed above, heat has very many dimensions and relationships with other aspects that include temperature. Therefore, it is essential to understand heat and its dimensions because of the importance it has on life sustenance.
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