Thermal Energy And Thermal Energy

Decent Essays
In thermodynamics, thermal energy refers to the internal energy present in a system due to its temperature. The concept is not well-defined or broadly accepted in physics or thermodynamics, because the internal energy can be changed without changing the temperature, and there is no way to distinguish which part of a system's internal energy is "thermal". Thermal energy is sometimes used loosely as a synonym for more rigorous thermodynamic quantities such as the (entire) internal energy of a system; or for heat or sensible heat which are defined as types of transfer of energy (just as work is another type of transfer of energy). Heat and work depend on the way in which an energy transfer occurred, whereas internal energy is a property of the state of a system and can thus be understood even without knowing how the energy got there.

In an 1847 lecture entitled On Matter, Living Force, and Heat, James Prescott Joule characterised various terms that are closely related to thermal energy and heat. He identified the terms latent heat and sensible heat as forms of heat each affecting distinct physical phenomena, namely the potential and kinetic energy of particles, respectively. He described latent energy as the energy of interaction in a given configuration of particles, i.e. a form of potential energy, and the sensible heat as an energy affecting temperature measured by the thermometer due to the thermal energy, which he called the living force.

Heat is energy transferred
Get Access