What is

Temperature - Definition and explanation of the temperature

What is the temperature

Temperature is a physical, inherent and measurable property of any body or matter around us. In the field of physics temperature is directly related to the amount of movement of the particles / atoms that compose the body, object or subject, such that a movement high temperature and less movement lower temperature has the body.

Commonly temperature identified as the way of measuring the heat or cold which has a body, but as stated in the above definition the temperature depends solely on the amount of movement of the particles / atoms that compose the object, this amount of movement is known in the field of physics as the internal kinetic energy of the body.

For example a bucket of water place on the inside of a refrigerator reaches temperatures below 0 ºC finding water in a solid and cold condition commonly known as ice, in the solid state H2O molecules do not have space to move whereby the amount of movement is reduced and thus its temperature is low and cold. However if the same bucket of water will be heater so would observe that the water change its solid to a liquid state where H2O are molecules have more space and freedom to move, as a result of the increased of movement say that temperature its increased.

On the other hand it is important to differentiate the concept of heat with the concept of temperature, heat is a flow of energy that moves from one body to another as long as there is exist a temperature difference between the two bodies, so we say that heat is a cause or consequence of temperature and is not an effect. If we isolated two bodies with the same temperature (two bodies with the same internal kinetic energy) would not exist heat, however if one of the two bodies have a different temperature to the other there would be a flow of heat which would emanate from the warmer body to the coldest until the temperatures of both bodies will be equal, at this time would be reached thermal equilibrium body and heat will disappear.

Temperature measurement

Temperature is a physical property that has a huge influence on the materials, plants and any living being of our universe, there lies the importance of measuring it.

There are different scales and tools to measure the temperature, in most of the world's Celsius scale (ºC) is used except the Anglo-Saxon countries where Fahrenheit scale (ºF) used, in the field of science Kelvin scale (º K) is used in all physical, chemical and math formulas as a unit of measurement for temperature. On the other hand we have other scales whose uses are limited or are obsolete, scales as Roemer, Deslide, Rankie Newton degrees.

Regardless of the scale used can turn the scales together by their corresponding conversion formulas, for example to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit degrees we used the following mathematical formula:

ºF = ºCx9/5 + 32

Thermometers are the tools used to measure the temperature, there is currently a wide range of different thermometers based in different technologies as mercury, bimetallic blade, infrared, pressure, digital...

Influence of temperature

As we mentioned above the temperature exerts an enormous influence on any materials or life that is in our universe.

Temperature influences in various properties of materials such as steel, iron, plastic, glass... which can vary its geometry through contraction and expansion phenomena, varying the resistance or electrical conductivity, color, solubility, viscosity, density...

Temperature acts as an accelerator of all chemical reactions occurring in nature, this property is used in many industrial processes to shorten the reaction time, such use increasing the temperature for drying and curing of the paint, adhesives and plastics.

In living beings changes of the internal temperature is the first symptom or warning of a disease, on the other hand needs a suitable temperature conditions for the existence of life as we know it, do you would imagine living in a world in which temperature will be always -150 ºF?

Even in large celestial bodies in our universe the temperature exerts enormous influence, a change of temperature inside a star can promote a gravitational collapse of it, creating a black hole.

Bird migration phenomena, climate change, nuclear fusion, habitable planets, galaxies formations and even the Big Bang have in temperature an explanation of its origin.


what is the temperature