Thermal Energy
Description Of Thermal Energy
Thermal energy is the energy that occurs when atoms rub together creating heat. Atoms are always moving around, that's what makes things feel colder or warmer. The temperature of the atoms depends on the speed of the atoms. Thermal energy is not the same thing as heat. Heat is when energy is transferred between two different objects when they have different temperatures. Thermal energy can be used for many different things too.

Thermal Energy In Your Life
Thermal energy is used all the time. It can be used to heat your house or to heat you up. Thermal energy is used in your kitchen a lot too. For example thermal energy is used to heat up your food in the form of your oven. Thermal energy heats up the atoms, which in turn heat up metal coils in the oven. The heat in the oven intensifies and finally your food gets cooked. Thermal energy can be used for many different things.

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Figure 1. The inside of an oven can be heated to very high temperatures by thermal energy.


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Figure 2. Thermal energy can be found in varying temperatures in fire.



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Figure 3. An example of thermal energy, shown in the form of flames.

Thermal Energy Experiment
The purpose of this experiment was to determine the heat fluctuations of a hand warmer. The materials used were a hand warmer and a thermometer. A hand warmer was placed on a desk and a thermometer was placed on the hand warmer. Every minute the hand warmer's temperature was measured and recorded. This process was repeated for 20 minutes. The hand warmers temperature started at a warm 25.1 degrees. The hand warmers temperature steadily increased for 16 minutes and then remained the same for 1 minute. The warmest the hand warmer became was 42.8 degrees, after that the temperature decreased. The temperature of the hand warmer fluctuated because of the movement of the atoms. If the table shifted slightly then that would have caused the atoms to speed up. Thermal energy is what it is called when atoms speed up and cause heat. Thermal energy is used for many things.

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Figure 4. The experiment was performed with a thermometer and a hand warmer.