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What is Temperature?

What is Temperature?

Temperature is a measure of how hot an object is…but what does that mean?

All atoms have kinetic (movement) energy because all atoms move. Even the atoms in a solid vibrate around a fixed spot. How hot an object is reflects the amount of kinetic energy in its molecules.

You cool an object down by removing some of this kinetic energy. Eventually, you will get to a point where the atoms are not moving at all – this is the lowest theoretical temperatur-e and is called ‘Absolute Zero.’ This theoretical temperatur-e stands at 0K, or -273.15°C (-459.67°F).

Fast Fact: While the temperature of the Southern Ocean stands between -2°C and 10°C, it contains much more heat energy than a boiling kettle. This is because there are many more water molecules in the ocean; even though their individual kinetic energies are lower than those in a kettle, when taken together the overall energy is much higher.

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