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  1. #1 quick question 
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    Could I describe heat as atomic kinetic energy?


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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    No. Heat is the transfer of energy due to a temperature difference. Motion of atoms would be temperature, which is the driving force for heat transfer but is not heat.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    No. Heat is the transfer of energy due to a temperature difference. Motion of atoms would be temperature, which is the driving force for heat transfer but is not heat.
    So heat is the transfer of thermal energy. Ok, just to get things straight can I say that thermal energy is kinetic atomic energy?

    I am really just trying to figure out if there needs to be a medium to have thermal energy. I think there is because thermal energy is when the atoms have more kinetic energy than absolute zero and I cannot think of an example of thermal energy without a medium.
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    In the sense that you are using the term "thermal energy" I think you are correct. It could not exist in a vacuum, since it is really the internal energy of a body. Luckily for everyone though, heat can flow through a vacuum, by means of radiation.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    In the sense that you are using the term "thermal energy" I think you are correct. It could not exist in a vacuum, since it is really the internal energy of a body. Luckily for everyone though, heat can flow through a vacuum, by means of radiation.
    What kind of radiation?
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