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38 Cards in this Set

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Potential energy

The energy that's a body possesses by virtue of is position with respect to other bodies in the field of gravity.

Kinetic energy

Is energy associated with motion.



Measure of the energy of the average speed (average mot ion) of the atoms and molecules, where higher temperatures correspond to faster average speeds.

Absolute zero

A temperature reading of -27C, -460F, or OK.

Theoretically, there is no molecular motion at this temperature.


Energy in the process of being transferred from one objects to another because of the temperature difference between them.

Absolute scale/ Kelvin scale

A temperature scale with zero degrees equal to the theoretical temperature at which all molecular motion ceases.

What are the two temperature scales that are commonly use today?

Fahrenheit and Celsius

Fahrenheit, Celsius

Fahrenheit scale

A temperature scale where 32 is assigned to the temperature where water freezes and 212 to the temperature at which water boils (at sea level).

When was the Fahrenheit scale developed and who was the creator?

The Fahrenheit scale was developed in the early 1700s by the physicist G. Daniel Fahrenheit.

1700s, physicist G. Daniel Fahrenheit

Celsius Scale

A temperature scale where zero is assigned to the temperature where water freezes and 100 to the temperature where water boils (at sea level).

When was the Celsius scale introduced ?

The Celsius scale was introduce later in the 18th century.

What is the formula for converting F° to C° ?

°C= 5/9 (°F-32)

Latent heat

The heat that is either released or absorbed by a unit mass of a substance when it undergoes a change of state, such as during evaporation, condensation, or sublimation.

Sensible heat

The heat we can feel and measure with a thermometer.

How is latent heat is an important source of the atmospheric energy ?

Latent heat is an important source of the atmospheric energy.

Once vapor molecules become separated from the earth's surface, they are swept away by the wind, like dust before a broom. Rising to high altitudes where the air is cold, the vapor changes into liquid and ice cloud particles. A tremendous amount of heat energy is released into to the environment.


The transfer of heat from molecule to molecule with a substance.


The transfer of heat by the mass movement of a fluid (such as water and air).

Where does convection takes place?

This type of heat takes place in liquid and gases because they can move freely, and it is possible to set up currents within them.


The horizontally moving part of the circulation.


The horizontal transfer of any atmospheric property by the wind.

What is a poor conductor of heat?

Air is a poor conductor of heat.

Radiation / Radiant energy

The energy transferred from the sun to your face.

How does radiant energy/Radiation travels?

It travels in the form of waves that release energy when they are absorbed by an object. Because these waves have magnetic and electrical properties.


A discrete quantity of energy that can be thought of as a packet of electromagnetic radiation traveling at the apples of light.

Which photon carries more energy?

An ultraviolet (UV) photon carries more energy than a photon of viable light.

Do ultraviolet photons have enough energy to produce sunburns?

Ultraviolet photon have enough energy to produce sunburns and penetrate skin tissue, sometimes causing skin cancer.

What is the first concept of radiation?

1. All things (whose temperature is above absolute zero), no matter how big or small, emit radiation.

The air, your body, flowers, trees, the earth, the stars, are all radiating a wide range of electromagnetic waves.

The energy originates from rapidly vibrating electrons, billions of which exist in every object.

What is the second concept of radiation?

2. The wavelength of radiation that an object emits depend primarily on the object's temperature.

The higher the objects temperature, the shorter are the wavelengths of emitted radiation.

Wein's law

A law of radiation which states that the wavelength of maximum emitted radiation by an object (ideally a black body) is inversely proportional to the objects absolute temperature.

• All objects radiates heat = energy

•The higher the temperature = shorter wavelength

As the lower = cooler longer wavelength.

Stefan Boltzmann law

Objects have a high temperature emit radiation at a greater rate or intensity than objects in lower temperature.

As the temp. of an object Increases the more radiation.

The relationship between temperature and emitted radiation is know as Stefan-Boltzmann law.

Why is the sky blue?

The sky is blue because sunlight is scattered by O and N atoms toward short wavelengths.

Types of radiation

Am radio waves

Television waves


Infrared waves

Visible light



Ultraviolet (UV)

Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than X-rays but shorter than visible light


Any object that is a perfect absorber (that is, absorbs all the radiation that strikes it) and a perfect emitter ( emits the maximum radiation possible at it's given temperature).

Radiative equilibrium temperature

The temperature achieved when an object, behaving as a blackbody, is absorbing and emitting radiation at equal rates.

Selective absorbers

Objects that selectively absorb and emit radiation, such as gasses in our atmosphere.

What are the selective absorbers in the environment?

For example, snow is a good absorber of infrared radiation, but a poor absorber of sunlight.

What gasses are strong absorbers of infrared radiation?

Water vapor and carbon dioxide