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Definition: Temperature is a measurement of the average kinetic energy of the molecules in an object or system and can be measured with a thermometer or a calorimeter. It is a means of determining the internal energy contained within the system.

Heat vs. Temperature

Note that temperature is different from heat, though the two concepts are linked. Temperature is a measure of the internal energy of the system, while heat is a measure of how energy is transferred from one system (or body) to another. The greater the heat absorbed by a material, the more rapidly the atoms within the material begin to move, and thus the greater the rise in temperature.

Temperature Scales

Several temperature scales exist. In America, the Fahrenheit temperature is most commonly used, though the SI unit Centrigrade (or Celsius) is used in most of the rest of the world. The Kelvin scale is used often in physics, and is adjusted so that 0 degrees Kelvin is absolute zero.
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