thermo-, therm-, thermi-, -thermia, -therm, -thermal, -thermic, -thermias, -thermies, -thermous, -thermy

(Greek: heat, heating, heater, hot, warm)

The term heat is employed in ordinary language in different senses. Some scientists distinguish four principal applications of the term:

  1. Sensation of heat.
  2. Temperature, or degree of hotness.
  3. Quantity of thermal energy.
  4. Radiant heat, or energy of radiation.

thermal balance
The level of outdoor temperature at which the heating capacity of a heat pump matches the heating requirements of a building.
thermal barrier
The speed limitation imposed on an aircraft by aerodynamic overheating.
thermal battery, fused-electrolyte battery, heat-activated battery
1. A combination of thermal cells.
2. A voltage source consisting of a number of bimetallic junctions connected to produce a voltage when heated by a flame.
3. A high-temperature, molten-salt primary battery in which the electrolyte is a solid, non-conducting inorganic salt at ambient temperatures.d

When power is required, an internal pyrotechnic heat source is ignited to melt the solid electrolyte which allows electricity to be generated electrochemically for periods from a few seconds to an hour.

This process is often used for military applications; such as, missiles, torpedoes, and space missions.

thermal biofeedback
1. A method that teaches patients to increase or to decrease the temperature of their hands by feedback with signals indicating hand temperature.

This has been used primarily in the treatment of headaches.

2. The monitoring of skin temperature as an index of blood flow changes because of the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, the feedback being displayed to the patient on a video monitor, accompanied by an audible signal.

It is used for stress management and in the treatment of hypertension, migraine, and Raynaud disease (usually a bilateral disease of the blood vessels; especially, of the extremities which might be caused by cold or emotion, accompanied by intermittent pallor, cyanosis, and redness, and generally accompanied by pain).

thermal blanket
A floating foam cover that insulates well, but it does not allow light to pass through.

It is often used in swimming pools and spas.

thermal break
A material of low heat conductivity placed between materials of higher conductance to reduce the flow of heat; for example, certain metal framed windows are designed with thermal breaks to improve their overall thermal performance.
thermal burn
1. Tissue reaction to or injury, usually of the skin, caused by exposure to extreme heat.
2. A burn caused by excessive heat or a type of injury to the skin caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation, or friction.
thermal capacity
The amount of heat which can be retained by a thermal storage.
thermal conductance
The time rate of heat flow through a body (per unit area) from one of its bounding surfaces to the other for a unit temperature difference between the two surfaces, under steady conditions.
thermal conductivity
The ability of a system to conduct heat, usually measured in units of thermal conductance.
thermal cover
Vegetation of sufficient abundance and height to significantly ameliorate weather effects; such as, wind, heat, cold, and snow.
thermal cracking
A refining process in which gas oils are subject to extreme temperatures under severe pressure, so that the molecules are cracked and broken into new molecules.
thermal delay
The time period between the energization of a heat-producing device and the measurable effect of the heat produced.
thermal depolymerization
A process for the reduction of complex organic materials (usually biomass waste products) into light crude oil.
thermal desalination
The removal of salt from seawater by condensing purified vapor to yield a product in the form of distilled water.

Quiz You can find self-scoring quizzes over many of the words in this subject area by going to this Thermo- Vocabulary Quizzes page.

Related "heat, hot" word units: ferv-; pyreto-.

Related "bubble" word unit: ebulli-.