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# Temperature is a physical quantity expressing hot and cold.

It is a proportional
measure of the average kinetic energy of the random motions of the
constituent particles of matter (such as atoms and molecules) in a system.
Temperature is important in all fields of natural science, including physics,
chemistry, Earth science, medicine, and biology, as well as most aspects of daily
life.

## Temperature is measured with a thermometer. A thermometer is calibrated in

one or more temperature scales. The most commonly used scales are the
Celsius scale (formerly called centigrade) (denoted °C), Fahrenheit scale
(denoted °F), and Kelvin scale (denoted K). The kelvin (with a lower case K) is
the unit of temperature in the International System of Units (abbreviated SI), in
which temperature is one of the seven fundamental base quantities. The Kelvin
scale is widely used in science and technology.

Heat is a form of energy that can be transferred from one object to another or
even created at the expense of the loss of other forms of energy. To review,
temperature is a measure of the ability of a substance, or more generally of any
physical system, to transfer heat energy to another physical system.

The heat capacity of a defined system is the amount of heat (usually expressed
in calories, kilocalories, or joules) needed to raise the system's temperature by
one degree (usually expressed in Celsius or Kelvin). It is expressed in units of
thermal energy per degree temperature.

## The specific heat capacity of a substance is the amount of energy needed to

change the temperature of 1 kg of the substance by 1°C. Different substances
have different specific heat capacities.

## Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in shape, area, and

volume in response to a change in temperature.

## Temperature is a monotonic function of the average molecular kinetic energy

of a substance. When a substance is heated, the kinetic energy of its molecules
increases. Thus, the molecules begin vibrating/moving more and usually
maintain a greater average separation. Materials which contract with
increasing temperature are unusual; this effect is limited in size, and only occurs
within limited temperature ranges (see examples below). The relative expansion
(also called strain) divided by the change in temperature is called the material's
coefficient of thermal expansion and generally varies with temperature.