If heat’s the transfer of energy, what’s cold?

Published by Daniel Ozori on

what's cold

I woke up this morning oddly puzzled by a question that popped up in my head

If heat is the transfer of energy?.. How the heck do you then define cold

This question left me thinking the rest of the day, trying to get myself to answer my own question

Cold is generally known as a state with little heat, particularly when compared with the temperature of the human body

But what’s the chemistry behind it

Does the cold of one given body make the molecules of the other body become slower

Or does the low temperature of one body absorb the heat of the other body faster making it colder

Related: How Fire Works

Well i did my research and sadly i couldn’t find anything

So i was left to answer it myself and here’s my opinion

Cold is a state of lower energy

OK! before you criticize me on how this is so wrong just try hearing me out first

We were taught heat that is the transfer of kinetic energy from one object to another or from one point in space to another

and that it should’t be taken as a substance, it’s just plain ol’ energy

For example when you bring a room temperature object close to a scorching one

The molecules in the room temperature object start to vibrate and move around faster making it hotter

heat transfer

Now let’s pay attention to the scorching object, what’s going to happen to it’s molecules?

well they’ll get slower and slower because they’e giving off all their heat to Mr room temperature

And as it’s molecules get slower the object itself gets colder

You picking up what i’m putting down? Lol

Cold is the giving off of energy

In other words the transfer of energy but to another object

In the case of water turning into ice in let’s say a refrigerator, You can just look at it as the water giving off it’s energy to environment in the refrigerator.

Making the molecules in the water come together because they’re no longer able to resist the van der waal forces that keep them together but still let’s them move freely

Slowly turning it into a solid

And the reason why hand feels numb any time you touch something cold is because

Your body is transferring it’s heat energy to the cold substance

And as your hand gets colder, your blood flows slower and you really can’t feel much if your blood isn’t flowing

Alright that’s all about cold but just for clarity here’s a much more standard definition of what cold is

Cold is the reduction of the amount of kinetic energy contained in a substance by giving off heat energy

I’d still love to hear your definition though, So leave a comment in the comment section letting me know

Categories: Chemistry

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