Thermal Equilibrium

On a hot day, its great to have a glass of cold water but after some time it warms up.
How long will it take a glass of cool water to warm up and what will the final temperature be?

You will see that the water gradually warms up until it is the same as the room temperature. As you can see from the example below in takes up to 2 hours to reach room temperature.

Thermal Equilibrium

This process is called thermal equilibrium or, put another way the matching of temperatures. Heat is transferred from the room to the cold water until the water reaches room temperature.

An important thing to note here is that the heat flowed from the room into the water, not the other way about. This is because temperature flows from hotter areas into colder areas.


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