is generated and measured by any kind of heat. Thermal energy is the total internal kinetic energy of an object due to the random motion of its atoms and molecules. The faster these particles move, the more heat is generated.
Thermal energy is responsible for the temperature of a system, and is considered as a part of the total energy of a system that is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy. Sometimes it is termed as internal energy.
The formula for finding thermal energy is given as:
Q = m.c. ΔT ,
where Q is the thermal energy, m is the mass of the given substance, c is the specific heat and ΔT is the temperature difference. The thermal energy is measured in Joules (J).
What is the difference between heat and thermal energy?
While thermal energy is the speed an object’s molecules are moving at, heat is actually the transfer of this energy from one object to another.
For example, when your stove applies heat to a pan of oil, the thermal energy is being transferred from the stove element to the pan and from the pan to the oil within. Some of the heat is transferred to the air around the stove as well, which is why kitchens seem to warm up so much when you get to cooking.
Heat can be transferred from particle to particle or object to object in three different ways. These are conduction, convection and radiation. At absolute zero, a system has no heat energy.
Thermal energy could be produced by different way – from friction from dragging, etc.