Heat is one of the many common terms and known to almost every individual. The term heat is used in variety of references. But what is exactly the heat in thermodynamics means? In this article, let us define the heat from the “Engineering” point of view.
Heat in Thermodynamics
Heat is defined as the form of energy that is transferred between two system by virtue of a temperature difference.
In other words an energy interaction is considered as heat, only if it takes place because of temperature difference.
The term body heat is understood to mean the thermal energy content of the body, likewise, the transfer of heat into a system is referred as heat addition and the transfer of heat out of the system as heat rejection.
General misinterpretations of Heat
The several terms in common use today such as heat gain, heat loss, heat generation, specific heat, latent heat, sensible heat, heat sink, heat source, body heat, waste heat etc. are not consistent with strict thermodynamic meaning of heat.
Actually the term heat limits its use to the transfer of thermal energy during a process. Perhaps there are Thermodynamic reasons for being so unwilling to replace heat by thermal energy.
So concluding the definition, in the thermodynamics the term heat simply means heat transfer.