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# Thermal energy

Thermal energy is the sum of the sensible energy and latent energy.

Internal energy

Internal energy – the sum of all microscopic forms of energy of a system. It is related to the molecular structure and the degree of molecular activity and may be viewed as the sum of kinetic and potential energies of the molecules; it consists of the following types of energies: [cite book | last = Cengel | first = Yungus, A. | coauthors = Boles, Michael | title = Thermodynamics - An Engineering Approach, 4th ed. | pages = 17-18 | publisher = McGraw-Hill | year = 2002 | id = ISBN 0-07-238332-1]

Definitions

ystem of N particles

According to the equipartition theorem, it is possible to define thermal energy. In a system of "N" molecules, each with f degrees of freedom, and if there are no other (non-quadratic) temperature-dependent forms of energy, then the total thermal energy of the system is:cite book|author= Schroeder, Daniel, R.|title=Thermal Physics|publisher=New York: Addison Wesley Longman|year=2000|id=ISBN 0201380277]

:$U_\left\{thermal\right\} = N cdot f cdot frac\left\{1\right\}\left\{2\right\}kT.$

To note, "Uthermal" is almost never the total energy of a system; for instance, there can be static energy that doesn't change with temperature, such as bond energy or rest energy (E=mc2).

Other definitions

Thermal energy per particle is also called the average translational kinetic energy possessed by free particles given by equipartition of energy. [ [http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/eqpar.html#c2 Thermal energy] – Hyperphysics]

Thermal energy is the difference between the internal energy of an object and the amount that it would have at absolute zero.Fact|date=July 2007 It includes the quantity of kinetic energy due to the motion of the internal particles of an object, and is increased by heating and reduced by cooling.

In a monatomic ideal gas, the thermal energy is exactly given by the kinetic energy of the constituent particles.Fact|date=July 2007

ee also

*Enthalpy
*Entropy
*Heat transfer
*Thermal efficiency
*Thermal science

References

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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