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What Is Temperature?

[Summary]the definition of temperature Temperature An important idea related to temperature is the fact that a collision between a molecule with high kinetic energy and one with low kinetic energy will transfer energy to the molecule of lower kinetic energy.


the definition of temperature

What Is Temperature?


An important idea related to temperature is the fact that a collision between a molecule with high kinetic energy and one with low kinetic energy will transfer energy to the molecule of lower kinetic energy. Part of the idea of temperature is that for two collections of the same type of molecules that are in contact with each other, the collection with higher average kinetic energy will transfer energy to the collection with lower average kinetic energy. We would say that the collection with higher kinetic energy has a higher temperature, and that net energy transfer will be from the higher temperature collection to the lower temperature collection, and not vice versa. Clearly, temperature has to do with the kinetic energy of the molecules, and if the molecules act like independent point masses, then we could define temperature in terms of the average translational kinetic energy of the molecules, the so-called "kinetic temperature". The average kinetic energy of the molecules of an object is an important part of the concept of temperature and provides some useful intuition about what temperature is. If all matter just consisted of independently moving point masses that just experienced elastic collisions with each other, that would be an adequate picture of temperature.

What is temperature (T)? - Definition from

What Is Temperature?

Temperature (symbolized T) is an expression of heat energy. Temperature can mean different things in different situations.

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Why use temperature anomalies (departure from average) and not absolute temperature measurements?

Absolute estimates of global average surface temperature are difficult to compile for several reasons. Some regions have few temperature measurement stations (e.g., the Sahara Desert) and interpolation must be made over large, data-sparse regions. In mountainous areas, most observations come from the inhabited valleys, so the effect of elevation on a region's average temperature must be considered as well. For example, a summer month over an area may be cooler than average, both at a mountain top and in a nearby valley, but the absolute temperatures will be quite different at the two locations. The use of anomalies in this case will show that temperatures for both locations were below average.

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