Compare Differences Between Heat and Temperature

In this worksheet, students will learn about the difference between heat energy and temperature and the units of measurement for both. Additionally, they will think about the direction of flow of heat energy, i.e. from hotter to colder objects.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Physics: Energy

Curriculum subtopic:   Changes in Systems

Difficulty level:

Worksheet Overview

Heat or temperature?

The words 'heat' and 'temperature' are sometimes used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing!

The temperature tells us how hot or cold an object is. It is measured with a thermometer in degrees Celsius (°C). This is the main unit of measurement.

Heat, on the other hand, is a form of energy and is measured in joules (J). It's also called thermal energy and tells us how much energy (in the form of heat) is stored in an object - this depends on the object's temperature, material, and mass.

Heat transfer

Heat will always flow from a hot object to a cooler one. (It never flows from cold to hot). When this happens, we say that heat is transferred

The greater the difference in temperature, the faster the rate of heat transfer. This happens until both objects become the same temperature. This is called thermal equilibrium.

Cold ice cream will start to melt on warm pancakes because the heat energy will flow from the pancakes to the ice cream. Once the melted ice cream and the pancakes reach the same temperature, they are said to be in thermal equilibrium with each other.

Human body temperature

The human body has a temperature of 37°C. If our body temperature increased or decreased from this number significantly, we would die. That's why our bodies have ways of keeping us at 37°C, for example, sweating and shivering. However, modern humans have developed other ways to protect themselves from extreme temperatures, such as clothing and buildings.

Winter clothes are insulators and they work by slowing down the rate of heat transfer from your warm body to the cold surroundings. The same principle applies to house insulation, slowing down the rate of heat transfer from the home to outside.

Let's try some questions on this.

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