Thermal energy is the energy that is transferred between two objects or systems that are at different temperatures. The flow of thermal energy is governed by the laws of thermodynamics.Thermodynamics is the study of the relationship between heat and work. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The second law of thermodynamics states that energy always flows from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. The third law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature of the system approaches absolute zero.
Thermal energy is often quantified in terms of the amount of heat that is transferred. Heat is a form of energy that is associated with the motion of particles. The transfer of heat can be accomplished through a variety of mechanisms, including conduction, convection, and radiation.
Conduction is the transfer of heat through direct contact. Heat is transferred from the hotter object to the cooler object by the collision of particles. The rate of heat transfer by conduction is proportional to the temperature difference between the two objects.
Convection is the transfer of heat by the movement of a fluid. Heat is transferred from the hotter object to the cooler object by the circulation of the fluid. The rate of heat transfer by convection is proportional to the temperature difference between the two objects and the difference in the density of the fluid.
Radiation is the transfer of heat by electromagnetic waves. Heat is transferred from the hotter object to the cooler object by the absorption of electromagnetic radiation. The rate of heat transfer by radiation is proportional to the temperature difference between the two objects and the difference in the surface area of the objects.
Other related questions:
Q: How does thermal energy flow between objects?
A: Thermal energy always flows from a warmer object to a cooler object.
Q: Which best describes the flow of thermal energy?
A: There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the type of material involved and the specific circumstances. In general, however, thermal energy will flow from a warmer area to a cooler one, due to the difference in temperature.
Q: Does thermal energy flow from high to low?
A: Most of the time, yes. Thermal energy will flow from an area of higher temperature to an area of lower temperature, in an effort to even out the temperatures.