Thermal Energy

What is Thermal Energy?

Thermal energy is a part of the total potential energy and kinetic energy in an object. It is associated with the motion or positions of atoms and molecules. Thermal energy is things associated with heat, electricity (like a light bulb) that either heats up or cools down. It is the energy that occurs in some things from the Hot Hands hand warmers to our computers.

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Flame showing how it burns energy into ashes

Useful Things to Do With Thermal Energy

Some useful ways to use thermal energy is to burn salts. You can use a flame to decipher what type of salt it is. This is useful for completing other different experiments in science. Another useful thing to do with thermal energy is that there are solar panels used to collect energy. These panels collect the heat waves from the sun to produce into energy used to power things from a light bulb to your television.

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Modern Day Television Set


The purpose of this experiment was to see how hot a hand warmer could get in 20 minutes. In this experiment, a Hot Hands hand warmer was shaken until warm. It was left to sit for duration of 5 minutes until the temperature was recorded with an Infrared Thermometer in Celsius. For the first 5 minutes it was recorded that the Hot Hands was 30.6 degrees Celsius. 5 minutes later it was recorded that the hand warmer cooled down to 30.4 degrees Celsius. But afterwards at the 15 minute mark it rose to 32.6 degrees Celsius. By the time it reached the 20 minute mark it had dropped to 31.3 degrees Celsius. In conclusion, the hand warmer got hot to the 15 minute mark before starting to go down.
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Hot Hands- Hand Warmer