Heat, temperature and the motion of molecules are all related. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules in a material. Heat is the energy transferred between materials that have different temperatures. Increasing the temperature increases the translational motion of molecules Energy is related to temperature by the relationship:
If your computer will run Java Applets view the complete motion of a molecule.
Look for the three basic types of motion within the molecule.
The following MPEG shows similar molecular motion for a smaller molecule. The movie emphasizes the torsional motion within the molecule (see left side of movie). It is shown that the torsion bond energy of a molecule can be modeled by a periodic function.
The movie above shows two particles of opposite charge attracted to each other. The relationship between coulombic energy and distance is an inverse relationship. The coulombic energy between the two particles varies with -1/r, where r is the distance separating their center of masses. In the movie notice that as r gets smaller, the potential energy becomes more negative.