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What is the difference between work and heat?

Work is the transfer of energy due to a force acting over a distance, while heat is the transfer of energy due to a temperature difference.

Work and heat are both forms of energy transfer, but they differ in how they are transferred and the types of energy involved. Work is the transfer of energy due to a force acting over a distance, such as when a weight lifter lifts a barbell or when a car engine moves a piston. The amount of work done is given by the formula W = Fd, where W is work, F is the force applied, and d is the distance over which the force is applied.

Heat, on the other hand, is the transfer of energy due to a temperature difference. Heat flows from hotter objects to cooler objects until they reach thermal equilibrium. The amount of heat transferred is given by the formula Q = mcΔT, where Q is the heat transferred, m is the mass of the object, c is the specific heat capacity of the object, and ΔT is the change in temperature.

In thermodynamics, work and heat are both used to describe the changes in a system's internal energy. The first law of thermodynamics states that the change in internal energy of a system is equal to the heat added to the system minus the work done by the system, or ΔU = Q - W. This equation shows that work and heat are both important in determining the overall change in energy of a system.

In summary, work and heat are both forms of energy transfer, but they differ in how they are transferred and the types of energy involved. Work is the transfer of energy due to a force acting over a distance, while heat is the transfer of energy due to a temperature difference. Both are important in thermodynamics and are used to describe changes in a system's internal energy.

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