Why the Thermosphere has high temperature but low thermal energy

so in this video we're gonna talk about

why the thermosphere increases its

temperature as we increase an altitude

and it's located here on our diagram of

the atmosphere see where we live the

higher you go in the atmosphere the

colder you get which is this red line

going to the left that means lower

temperature but there are two layers in

our atmosphere where instead of as you

go up it gets colder as you go up it

gets warmer and one of those is the

stratosphere and I have a different

video that explains why the stratosphere

works the way it does temperature

decreases in the mesosphere with height

just like we kind of expect as it does

in where we live in the troposphere but

in the thermosphere it kind of does the

same the temperature does the same thing

as it does in the stratosphere it

increases the taller we go in the

thermosphere this video is going to

explain why that happens now something

that we have to remember is a piece from

an earlier part of our book where it

showed us this diagram as I said before

we live at the bottom of an ocean of air

so if this pyramid represents the layers

of our atmosphere we live at the bottom

here and all of this atmosphere stacked

above us is pressing down on us we live

down here and the reason why is there's

so many particles here pressing and we

have all the particles above us pressing

down but as we get taller and taller in

the atmosphere there are fewer and fewer

air particles well the thermosphere is

kind of up here while we are in the

troposphere and we have all of these air

particles we have the most air particles

you can get in the atmosphere down where

we live but up in the troposphere there

are fewer particles and that really is

the key in understanding why the

temperature goes up fewer particles is

the key but fewer air particles allows

two things first we have to understand

that heat is not the same thing as


they are two different things

let's start with heat a lot of times

science uses heat and the term thermal

energy the same heat and thermal energy

are pretty much the same well what is

heat or what is thermal energy that's

the energy of moving particles oops now

this is not the same as kinetic energy

kinetic energy is the energy of moving

bodies moving items as a whole like a

car when it starts to move or a block

that's sitting on a table if it drops

off the table that the energy of it

being pulled by gravity that is kinetic

energy the energy in this case is the

energy of moving particles when

particles bounce off each other or

vibrate or rub against each other the

energy that they have to do that is

usually thermal energy or heat and heat

is transferred from one particle to

another when they rub against each other

or bounce off each other or collide or

vibrate against one another so heat

energy or thermal energy is transferred

when particles rub against or bounce off

each other and I need to remember how to

spell transferred there are two R's

okay so that's heat well what is

temperature well temperature is almost

like a police officer with a speed gun

you know you've seen that on the

roadways or you've been in an area where

there's a speed sign that as you pass it

it tells you how fast you're going well

temperature is simply a measure

of how fast particles are moving so you

know how when we clock speed in the

United States when we measure speed of

moving cars we use miles per hour like

mph miles over hours well in temperature

we don't measure it in miles per hour

when we take a temperature we measure

that temperature in degrees so if we say

that you your body has a temperature of

98.6 degrees we can say that the

particles inside your body are vibrating

or moving at 98.6 degrees kind of like

saying the wind is moving at 35 miles an

hour so if we could measure how fast the

particles are moving or are rubbing up

against or vibrating against each other

that is temperature so we've taken a

measure we've taken a temperature so for

your the the normal temperature range of

the human body is somewhere around 98.6

degrees Fahrenheit that is a measure so

what does that have to do with the

thermosphere well the thermosphere has

high temperature but it has low heat and

this video is trying to explain why and

here's the explanation the thermosphere

has high temperature but low heat

because there are so few particles think

about a four-lane highway and you're the

only car on it you can go as fast as you

want because there's no one to bump into

that is temperature the particles in the

thermosphere are moving at about a

thousand miles an hour or a thousand

degrees you can think about it like

miles per hour degrees the

particles in the thermosphere are

zooming around at 1,000 degrees

Fahrenheit why because there are so few

of them they can move as fast as they

want just like you and a four-lane

highway and you're the only car on it so

that's why the thermosphere has a high

temperature few particles means they're

never really they're going to move as

fast as they want because there's no

traffic to slow them down

temperature is speed temperature is

speed these guys are moving very fast

but the thermosphere has low heat

remember what heat is heat is the energy

that particles can use to move or bounce

off one another and it's transferred

this thermal energy is transferred when

particles hit each other or collide with

each other or bounce off each other but

in the thermosphere there are so few of

them they rarely bounce off or hit each

other so there is low heat there's low

thermal energy because the particles

really aren't bouncing off or rubbing

against each other they're moving very

fast there's nobody there except for

them but they're not bumping into each

other nearly as much as they're bumping

into each other down here at the

troposphere where we live look at how

closely packed they are look at how

spaced out they are in the thermosphere

so the thermosphere experiences high

temperature because the particles are

zooming very fast very fast but they're

not bumping into each other which means

they give off very little amounts of

thermal energy so I hope this video

helped to explain that you watch this as

many times as you need in order to

really understand it and soak it in but

now you know why the thermosphere

behaves the way it does