High School Physics

Difference between Heat and Temperature

Heat and temperature are closely related concepts but they play different roles in heating and cooling processes. Let’s find out the difference between heat and temperature.

Heat is energy that flows from one object to another when there is a difference in temperature between the objects.

Temperature is the quantity that indicates whether or not, and in which direction, heat will flow. Objects at the same temperature are in thermal equilibrium with each other, and no heat will flow from one to the other.


When two objects at different temperatures are placed in contact, heat will flow from the object with the higher temperature to the one with the lower temperature.

Heat added increases the temperature, and heat removed decreases the temperature – heat, and temperature are not the same.

The quantity of heat added or removed to produce a given change in temperature depends on the amount of material involved (mass) and the specific heat capacity of the material.


Temperature is a quantity that tells us which direction the heat will flow.

If two objects are at the same temperature, no heat will flow.

If they are at different temperatures, the direction of heat flow is from the higher to the lower temperature.

The quantity of heat transferred depends on the temperature difference between the two materials as well as on their masses and specific heat capacities.

See also  Temperature scales and absolute temperature
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