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Heat is a form of energy [J]. The relationship between heat and work provides the foundation of thermodynamics, which describes transformations from an initial to a final state of a system. In energy transformations heat may pass through the boundary of the system, at an external heat flow of deQ/dt.

Abbreviation: Q, Qth [J]

Reference: Energy

Communicated by Gnaiger E (2019-01-05) last update 2020-11-25

Symbol Q

To distinguish Q in thermodynamics and electricity, Qth [J] is used for heat, and Qel [C] for charge.


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  • Joule [J]; 1 J = 1 N·m = 1 V·C; 1 cal = 4.184 J
Fundamental relationships
» Energy
» Exergy
» Extensive quantity
» Force
» Pressure
» Intensive quantity
Forms of energy
» Internal-energy, dU
» Enthalpy, dH
» Heat, deQ
» Bound energy, dB
Forms of exergy
» Helmholtz energy, dA
» Gibbs energy, dG
» Work, deW
» Dissipated energy, diD

MitoPedia concepts: Ergodynamics