Browse Definitions:
Definition

heat

Heat is the transfer of kinetic energy from one medium or object to another, or from an energy source to a medium or object. Such energy transfer can occur in three ways: radiation, conduction, and convection.

The standard unit of heat in the International System of Units (SI) is the calorie (cal), which is the amount of energy transfer required to raise the temperature of one gram of pure liquid water by one degree Celsius, provided the water temperature is higher than the freezing point and lower than the boiling point. Sometimes the kilocalorie (kcal) is specified as a unit of heat; 1 kcal = 1000 cal. (This is the so-called diet calorie.) Less often, the British thermal unit (Btu) is used. This is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of pure liquid water by one degree Fahrenheit.

An example of heat by radiation is the effect of infrared (IR) energy as it strikes a surface. IR is an electromagnetic field capable of transfering energy from a source, such as a fireplace, to a destination, such as the surfaces within a room. Radiation does not require an intervening medium; it can occur through a vacuum. It is responsible for the warming of the Earth by the sun.

Heat by conduction takes place when two material media or objects are in direct contact, and the temperature of one is higher than the temperature of the other. The temperatures tend to equalize; thus the heat conduction consists of a transfer of kinetic energy from the warmer medium to the cooler one. An example is the immersion of a chilled human body in a hot bath.

Heat by convection occurs when the motion of a liquid or gas carries energy from a warmer region to a cooler region. A good example of convection is the tendency of warm air to rise and cool air to fall, equalizing the air temperature inside a room containing a hot stove. Heat convection (along with conduction) is believed to take place inside the Earth, transfering kinetic energy from the inner core through the outer core and mantle to the crust. In this situation, the outer core and the mantle behave like liquids over long periods of time.

Also see the Table of Physical Units.

This was last updated in March 2009

Join the conversation

4 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

i like heat
Cancel
wow very helping learn to help not be rude 
Cancel
Heat is a atom and molecule and energy being used to create a way for it to heat the blood in the certain organs..... this is for the heat in body.
Cancel
Thanks a lot! the heat definition is so enough to understand and to solve all problems involved scientifically.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • vulnerability disclosure

    Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of publishing information about a computer security problem, and a type of policy that ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • flash memory

    Flash memory, also known as flash storage, is a type of nonvolatile memory that erases data in units called blocks.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of nonvolatile storage technologies.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close