I read a paragraph on the transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy and heat from this website:
Even if air resistance slows down the ball, the potential energy is the same (Mb x g x H). But if air resistance is in the way, not all of the potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy. Some of the energy has to be used to push the air molecules out of the way. When that happens, the energy of the air molecules is increased. The air is actually "heated" up by the falling ball.
This text indirectly mentions that the Potential Energy gets converted into heat. However my common sense (for lack of a better term) makes me think that the Potential Energy gets converted into Kinetic Energy which in turn gets converted into Thermal energy. Would someone be able to enlighten me on this please?
Also, as a side question, it isn't called Heat Energy right? A lot of websites seem to be saying that, but heat is just the transfer of Thermal Energy...