Cover image for //Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World// by C Hatkoff, 2007.
Cover image for Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World by C Hatkoff, 2007.

Any hazardous perceptions of heat, or sensations of any extreme temperature, are called dangerous thermal sensations. Dangerous thermal sensations are described using words like icy, boiling, freezing, scorching, frosty, blistering and so on. They are not like the sensation of touching a living human body. We use Knut as an icon for dangerous thermal sensations. You can click on icons to come back to a page like this for easy reference.

By the third hypothesis, the reference experience for these sensations is touching ice. So to make a binary description of a dangerous thermal sensation, compare it to touching ice. Report the result using one of the following algebraic statements. If the two experiences are not comparable, then say that the sensation is not a dangerous thermal sensation and express this by writing


If the sensation is like touching ice, then say that it is freezing. Express this as


If the sensation is not like touching ice, then say that it is hot and that


If it is both like and not-like touching ice, then say it is a composite sensation and that

$-1 \le \delta_{T} \le 1$

The number $\delta_{T}$ is called the hotness.

Adjective Definition
Hotness $\delta_{T} \equiv \begin{cases} +1 &\sf{\text{if a sensation is hot }} \\ -1 &\sf{\text{if a sensation is freezing }} \end{cases}$ 2-5
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