Difference Between Heat and Temperature (With Table)

The effect of weather is felt and expressed on a day to day basis. If it is hot or cold, it is felt and widely expressed if the weather goes extremes.

It is not only about the weather, but it is also about the substances which are hot or cold we express in terms of heat and temperature. Both these concepts are well defined in science but for the outer world it may seem alike, but not.

Indeed, the terms heat and temperature are quite common as the usage is high in day to day life. It makes people feel that they are the same, however, these two are entirely two different concepts.

Heat vs Temperature

The difference between heat and temperature is, heat is a form of energy whereas temperature is the measure of energy.

To understand it clearly in scientific terms, heat is the overall energy of the motion of the molecules while temperature is the average energy of the molecular motion.


Comparison Table Between Heat and Temperature (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonHeatTemperature
Meaning/DefinitionHeat is defined as the total amount of energy available in the body. Heat is a form of energy.Temperature is defined as a measure of the amount of heat in the body. Temperature is the measure of energy.
Scientific PropertyHeat flows from hotter substance to cooler substance.The temperature rises when the heat rises and comes down when the heat is reduced.
Measuring PropertyHeat is measured as the total amount of kinetic energy and potential energy available in the object.Temperature is the measure of average kinetic energy available in the object.
Unit of measurementHeat is measured in JoulesTemperature is measured in Kelvin
Device for MeasurementHeat energy is measured using CalorimeterTemperature is measured using Thermometer


What is Heat?

Heat is defined as the total amount of energy that is available in the body. Heat is a form of energy. Heat is a form of energy that passes from source to another object and also transmitted further to other objects due to their difference in temperature. Of course, heat moves from hotter to cooler objects.

It is the total amount of kinetic as well as potential energy available in the body. The measurement of heat is done in an energy unit called Joules.

Heat is also called transient energy as it is constantly transmitted. Once it enters a body it is no longer called heat energy whereas now it is called internal energy. Heat is a vital energy component for living. It is important energy that is needed for human survival too.

The source of heat energy are many, but the prime source of heat energy is the Sun. The other sources of heat energy are fossil fuels, electricity and also from nuclear reactions. The level of heat increases when the molecules in the object tend to move faster within the body. That is when the molecules are in higher kinetic energy.

The heat energy is transferred in three different ways. Conduction, Convection, and Radiation; solid-state heat transfer, liquid state heat transfer, and gaseous state heat transfer respectively.


What is Temperature?

Temperature is the measure of heat in a body. In other words, the temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of all molecules available in the body. Temperature seems to rise when the heat goes high and falls when the heat is less. It is indeed not relevant if the body is big or small, it is the average amount of kinetic energy of the particles in a body is the temperature.

The unit of measurement of Temperature is Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit. The temperature is measured using a device called a Thermometer. The terms hot and cold are not scientific terms. To say whether an object is hot or cold is based on the temperature.

Temperature determines the flow of heat energy. The temperature has not the ability to work but shows only the amount of heat energy available in the body.

] There are three different scales of temperature measurement, Celsius, Kelvin, and Fahrenheit. Celsius scale is overpowered by the Kelvin scale as the Celsius scale cannot measure temperatures below 0 degrees.

As the temperature is directly connected to the kinetic energy of the body, if the kinetic energy is doubled, the temperature rises or the vice versa. Temperature is independent of factors like speed, size, and several particles in the body.


Main Differences Between Heat and Temperature

  1. Although Heat and Temperature are used in similar contexts, there are many differences lies in between. The main difference between Heat and Temperature is, the heat of an object is the total energy of the molecules present in it while the temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules in the body.
  2. The heat can be measured using the theory of calorimetry using a calorimeter whereas temperature is measured using Thermometer.
  3. Heat is the measure of a total number of molecules multiplied by the energy possessed by each molecule present in the object while temperature completely relies on the speed in which the molecules move in the body. Faster the greater temperature.
  4. The heat flows from hotter to the colder body through conduction, convection, and radiation whereas temperature rises when the heat rises and lowers when the hear reduces.
  5. The heat can work as such temperature is the measurement of the extent of heat energy in a body.



Both these concepts are of prime importance in science. Heat energy completely relies on the total number of particles present in the body, but the temperature is just a measure of the average energy of the particles of the body.

Heat is a fabulous source of energy for human survival. If it goes high, it is difficult and also extremely difficult if heat comes down also. It is the temperature which will say what degree of heat is suitable for mankind.

As such heat does not give a clear picture of survival except for the exposure. Heat is directly connected to the mass of the body while the temperature is directly connected to the kinetic energy of the molecules.



  1. https://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/thermalP/u18l1d.cfm
  2. https://www.wired.com/story/temperature-is-not-what-you-think-it-is/
  3. https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-temperature-definition-lesson-quiz.html
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