Chronology Current Month Current Thread Current Date
[Year List] [Month List (current year)] [Date Index] [Thread Index] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Prev] [Date Next]

Re: heat is not a noun

I agree with Larry. Furthermore, I'd add that "work"
should not be used as a noun, but rather as "workING"
- a macroscopic process by which the internal energy
of a system changes due to the action of an external
force. I think that focusing on system internal energy
and the processes by which it can be changed makes
teaching and understanding thermodynamic processes
VASTLY easier and clearer for students. John Barrere
--- Larry Woolf <larry.woolf@GAT.COM> wrote:
From "Some Irreverant Thoughts About Heat" in the
Thermodynamics book by Bohren and Albrecht, pages

"It is very easy to deal with the definition of
heat: It does not exist.
Why waste time and effort defining something that
does not exist? Heating,
however, is the name of a macroscopic process in
which the internal energy
of a system changes by virtue of a temperature
difference between it and
its surroundings. Why 'macroscopic'? Because we
invoked temperature, a
macroscopic quantity. There is no such thing as the
temperature of a
single molecule, only a collection of many
"When you grasp that heating is a way of doing
something and abandon all
attempts to identify heat as an entity, especially a
vague, metaphysical,
even paranormal entity, you can think more clearly
about thermodynamic
problems. We know of no examples in which invoking
a mythical substance
called heat leads to increased physical

And once again, this list will be drawn into the
HEAT of battle!

(Personally, I'm quite attached to these four
letter Anglo-Saxonisms)

At 7:42 PM -0700 1/30/01, Larry Smith, you wrote
about heat is not a noun:

Would it not warm Jim Green's heart to know that
Robert H. Romer, editor of
AJP has an editorial in the Feb 2001 issue
entitled "Heat is Not a Noun"?
It starts out: "Let's strike a blow for clear
thinking by ridding the
English language of the word heat as a noun....
Heat is not a substance."



-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.
.-. .-. .-. .-
\ / \ / \ N / \ C / \ S / \ S /
\ M / \ / \ /
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-'
`-' `-' `-'
Chuck Britton
Education is what is left when you
have forgotten everything
North Carolina School of Science & Math you
learned in school.
(919) 286-3366 x224
Albert Einstein, 1936

Dr. Lawrence D. Woolf; Phone: (858)-455-4475;
General Atomics; 3550 General Atomics Court; San
Diego CA 92121-1194

Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
a year!