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Physics LibreTexts

13: Temperature, Kinetic Theory, and the Gas Laws

What is heat? How do we define it? How is it related to temperature? What are heat’s effects? How is it related to other forms of energy and to work? We will find that, in spite of the richness of the phenomena, there is a small set of underlying physical principles that unite the subjects and tie them to other fields.

Thumbnail: High heat resulted in thermal expansion of these rails, buckling this section of railway. Imaged used with permission (Public domain; U.S. Department of Transportation)


  • Paul Peter Urone (Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento) and Roger Hinrichs (State University of New York, College at Oswego) with Contributing Authors: Kim Dirks (University of Auckland) and Manjula Sharma (University of Sydney). This work is licensed by OpenStax University Physics under a Creative Commons Attribution License (by 4.0).