What happens if you compress heat?


I realize it might sound pretty stupid, but I’m curious as to what would happen if you were to take a lot of heat energy and simply compress it. Would there be combustion at some point or…? Or could a fire burn on only molecules found in air (aka, without wood or a similar fuel source), like, if you could pull a fire bender and make fire appear and float over your hand could it keep burning only using the air around it? I seriously doubt it. I figure you’d still require some sort of chemical reaction or gaseous fuel to feed it. It’s mostly just a weird idle curiosity, but I figured I’d see if there were any experts on heat and other forms of energy who felt like giving an answer.

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General Physics RvTDLR 4 years 1 Answer 443 views 0

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Answer ( 1 )

  1. Heat energy is a measure of the energy of motion of molecules of a substance. It is impossible to separate the heat energy from the molecules, they are NOT 2 separate things. You can compress air whether it is hot or cold. What happens depends on the kind of molecules that are being compressed. IF you compress a mixture of air (containing oxygen) and some fuel IF the compression is great enough the temp. will increase and the fuel may ignite.
    ==== But the point is that heat energy is NOT a substance that can be separated from other substances and compressed by itself.
    ……. There was a theory a couple of hundred years ago called the Caloric Theory which tried to show that heat was a substance. Several people proved that this is NOT true.

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