Hot, heat, temperature and thermodynamics confusion

Consider the following perfectly reasonable sentences:

"It’s hot outside"

"The oven is heating up"

"Insulation helps keep a house warm"

Here we have physics words and concepts being used in everyday English in ways that are rather loose from a physics point of view. Does the conventional English use of words such as ‘heat’, ‘temperature’, ‘insulate’, etc confuse students when they come to learn thermodynamics? For example, even a physicist would say "it’s hot today", when  he knows what he actually means is "the temperature is high today". In thermodynamics, heat and temperature are very precise concepts, and are not interchangeable, as they often are in English.

Anyway, a study of confusion amongst students caused by conventional English usage of thermodynamics words was the subject of Helen Georgiou’s short talk last week at the Australian Institute of Physics congress. Brief conclusion: Yes, there is confusion, and often students aren’t aware of where it’s coming from.

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