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Crash Course


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Physics, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 16 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


The Physics of Heat

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  • This video uses a basic question about why we wear clothes to explain the physics of heat and its conceptual and mathematical relationship with temperature, kinetic energy, and thermal energy.
  • Conduction, convection, and radiation, are explained and equations are presented to quantify the amount of heat required for temperature changes and phase changes, as well as the rate of heat transfer for conduction and radiation.
Teaching Tips


  • The video is packed with important information about thermodynamics.
  • All variables, equations, and important terms appear on the screen, and animations are used to illustrate key concepts.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is a very dense video and the speaker transitions quickly from one concept to the next. Teachers will need to pause the video periodically and replay portions to aid in student understanding. 
  • Students should already understand kinetic energy and temperature.


  • Teachers can connect this video to climate change by discussing the role of heat transfer in the greenhouse effect or warming ocean temperatures.
  • Students can answer the question about why we wear clothes at the start of the video and then again at the end of the video to see how their understanding has changed.
  • Students can brainstorm other examples of heat transfer in their everyday life and categorize these examples as convection, conduction, or radiation.
  • This resource can connect well to physical chemistry lessons using this self-paced lesson on the chemistry of the greenhouse effect or to biology lessons when discussing the physical traits that help some animals maintain their body heat in very cold temperatures.
Scientist Notes
In this video, they explain why it is necessary to wear clothes - all because of the flow of heat through our bodies. The science in this video is well explained and accurate and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS-PS3-1 Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
      • HS-PS3-2 Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
      • HS-PS3-4 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
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