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Thermal Energy Formula

Thermal energy is the energy generated from heat. This heat is produced by the movement of small particles within an object. The faster the particles move, more the heat is generated.

Thermal energy is responsible for the temperature of the system and a part of total energy of the system which is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy.

The thermal energy is usually expressed by Q. It is directly proportional to the mass of the substance, temperature difference and the specific heat.

The SI unit of thermal energy is Joules(J).

The thermal energy formula is given by


Q = thermal energy,

m = mass of the given substance,

c = specific heat, and

ΔT = temperature difference.

Example 1

Determine the thermal energy of a substance whose mass is 6kg and specific heat is 0.030J/kg°C. The temperature difference of this system is given as 20°C.



m = 6kg,

c = 0.030J/kg°C,

ΔT = 20°C

The thermal energy formula is given by,

Q = mcΔT

   = 6 x 0.030 x 20

  = 3.6 J

Example 2

A 5kg substance undergoes temperature difference of 60°C whose specific heat is 0.07J/kg°C, Determine the thermal energy.



m = 5kg,

c = 0.07J/kg°C,

ΔT = 60°C

The for thermal energy formula is given by,

Q = mcΔT

   = 5×0.07×60

= 21J



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