MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: VRD--argument about heat vs infra-red radiation

Date: Fri Oct 6 18:52:45 2000
Posted by Gordon Hayes
Grade level: School: No school entered.
City: No city entered. State/Province: No state entered. Country: No country entered.
Area of science: Physics
ID: 970872765.Ph

My friend and I have an argument about heat.

I say that whilst not exactly synonymous, heat and infra-red are the same

He says they're not.

I accept that one can heat something by convection and conduction, not just
by radiation.
I accept that when something is hot it radiates not only in the infra-red,
but also perhaps in the visible (if it's white hot).

I my assertion is that when we speak of "heat" we are speaking in general of 
infra-red radiation or the emission of it by a specific object.

I think my fundamental statement that started the argument was that HEAT
and ENERGY are the same thing: (although there are other forms of energy
too...  heat is one of them)

when we talk about things like conservation of energy... like in questions
on newtonian mechanics reactions we always have to take into account
frictive forces and the like which slow down whatever we're looking at....
and energy (whilst conserved in total is lost from our system as heat)...
it goes to make a miniscule increase in the overall temperature of the

This is what I was taught anyway, I feel pretty sure.  That heat and energy
are the same... or that heat is a form of energy at least.... and
specifically of all the forms of energy... it is like infra-red radiation.

Can you help us settle this argument?

Re: VRD--argument about heat vs infra-red radiation

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