Heat and Temperature
|The concepts of Heat and Temperature are applied much more loosely in everyday life than in formal scientific discussion. In physics and chemistry, heat energy refers to energy which is transfered from one object to another. In other words, heat energy is not the internal energy, or even the thermal energy of any object. Heat energy refers to the energy which is transfered in the processes of heat flow. To discuss the energy of particle motion within a substance itself, employ the concept of thermal energy, not heat. Thermal energy is the portion of an object's internal energy due to the object being at a temperature greater than absolute zero. The temperature difference between one object and another predicts the direction that heat will spontaneously flow. Heat flows spontaneously from a higher temperature object to a lower temperature object.|
Heat and Temperature is one of those topics where the basic knowledge often will appear in a straightforward way on the MCAT. While understanding this material is crucial to understanding what comes later in chemistry and biology, you also need to make sure to master the basics to prepare for straightforward questions on such topics as heat capacity, temperature scales, or heat transfer.