The whole of this part of the subject depends on the consideration of the Intrinsic Energy of a system of bodies, as depending on the temperature and physical state, as well as the form, motion, and relative position of these bodies. Of this energy, however, only a part is available for the purpose of producing mechanical work, and though the energy itself is indestructible, the available part is liable to diminution by the action of certain natural processes, such as conduction and radiation of heat, friction, and viscosity.
THE DISTINCTION between hot bodies and cold ones is familiar to all, and is associated in our minds with the difference of the sensations which we experience in touching various substances, according as they are hot or cold. The intensity of these sensations is susceptible of degrees, so that we may estimate one body to be hotter or colder than another by the touch. The words hot, warm, cool, cold are associated in our minds with a series of sensations which we suppose to indicate a corresponding series of states of an object with respect to heat.
We use these words, therefore, as the names of these states of the object, or, in scientific language, they are the names of Temperatures, the word hot indicating a high temperature, cold a low temperature, and the intermediate terms intermediate temperatures, while the word temperature itself is a general term intended to apply to any one of these states of the object.