Transferring Heat

Asked February 22, 2016, 8:13 AM EST

Which materials conduct heat better? How is it possible for energy to transfer through materials and how does it vary for different materials? Say "hi" to Mr. Sockadoodles!

New Jersey

1 Response

Hi Mr. Sockadoodles, It has been a long time. I hope you are well.

I think you'll find the answer to your questions here: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/conductive-heat-transfer-d_428.html
and here:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

Conduction is energy passing through materials from molecule to molecule. If you apply heat to one edge of a material you can imagine the molecule near that edge would get a little more active and move and vibrate. This causes some energy to be transferred to the other side of those molecule to the neighboring molecules and so on across the whole piece of material. The rate of this process is known as heat flux and is governed by thermal conductivity and the temperature difference across the material. Think about it in terms of your own family of socks. You have some very thin polyester socks and some very think wool socks. Which ones conduct heat more quickly?

The spoonadoodle family also has differences, as this video demonstrates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_SxeBElsGs