Explore Related Concepts

Best Results From Wikipedia Yahoo Answers Youtube

From Wikipedia

Conduction (heat)

In heat transfer, conduction (or heat conduction) is the transfer of thermal energy between regions of matter due to a temperature gradient. Heat always flows from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature, and results in the elimination of temperature differences by establishing thermal equilibrium. Conduction takes place in all forms of matter, viz. solids, liquids, gases and plasmas, but does not require any bulk motion of matter. In solids, it is due to the combination of vibrations of the molecules in a lattice or phonons with the energy transported by free electrons. In gases and liquids, conduction is due to the collisions and diffusion of the molecules during their random motion.

In the engineering sciences, heat transfer includes the processes of thermal radiation, convection, and sometimes mass transfer and often more than one of these processes occurs in a given situation.


On a microscopic scale, conduction occurs as rapidly moving or vibrating atoms and molecules interact with neighboring particles, transferring some of their kinetic energy. Heat is transferred by conduction when adjacent atoms vibrate against one another, or as electrons move from one atom to another. Conduction is the most significant means of heat transfer within a solid or between solid objects in thermal contact. Conduction is greater in solids because the network of relatively fixed spacial relationships between atoms helps to transfer energy between them by vibration.

As density decreases so does conduction. Therefore, fluids (and especially gases) are less conductive. This is due to the large distance between atoms in a gas: fewer collisions between atoms means less conduction. Conductivity of gases increases with temperature. Conductivity increases with increasing pressure from vacuum up to a critical point that the density of the gas is such that molecules of the gas may be expected to collide with each other before they transfer heat from one surface to another. After this point conductivity increases only slightly with increasing pressure and density.

Thermal contact conductance is the study of heat conduction between solid bodies in contact. A temperature drop is often observed at the interface between the two surfaces in contact. This phenomenon is said to be a result of a thermal contact resistance existing between the contacting surfaces. Interfacial thermal resistance is a measure of an interface's resistance to thermal flow. This thermal resistance differs from contact resistance, as it exists even at atomically perfect interfaces. Understanding the thermal resistance at the interface between two materials is of primary significance in the study of its thermal properties. Interfaces often contribute significantly to the observed properties of the materials.

The inter-molecular transfer of energy could be primarily by elastic impact as in fluids or by free electron diffusion as in metals or phonon vibration as in insulators. In insulators the heat flux is carried almost entirely by phonon vibrations.

Metals (e.g. copper, platinum, gold,etc.) are usually the best conductors of thermal energy. This is due to the way that metals are chemically bonded: metallic bonds (as opposed to covalent or ionic bonds) have free-moving electrons which are able to transfer thermal energy rapidly through the metal. The "electron fluid" of a conductive metallic solid conducts nearly all of the heat flux through the solid. Phonon flux is still present, but carries less than 1% of the energy. Electrons also conduct electric current through conductive solids, and the thermal and electrical conductivities of most metals have about the same ratio. A good electrical conductor, such as copper, usually also conducts heat well. The Peltier-Seebeck effect exhibits the propensity of electrons to conduct heat through an electrically conductive solid. Thermoelectricity is caused by the relationship between electrons, heat fluxes and electrical currents. Heat conduction within a solid is directly analogous to diffusion of particles within a fluid, in the situation where there are no fluid currents.

To quantify the ease with which a particular medium conducts, engineers employ the thermal conductivity, also known as the conductivity constant or conduction coefficient, k. In thermal conductivityk is defined as "the quantity of heat, Q, transmitted in time (t) through a thickness (L), in a direction normal to a surface of area (A), due to a temperature difference (ΔT) [...]." Thermal conductivity is a material propertythat is primarily dependent on the medium'sphase, temperature, density, and molecular bonding. Thermal effusivity is a quantity derived from conductivity which is a measure of its ability to exchange thermal energy with its surroundings.

Steady-state conduction

Steady state conduction is the form of conduction which happens when the temperature difference driving the conduction is constant so that after an equilibration time, the spatial distribution of temperatures (temperature field) in the conducting object does not change a

Thermal conductivity

In physics, thermal conductivity, k, is the property of a material describing its ability to conduct heat. It appears primarily in Fourier's Law for heat conduction. Thermal conductivity is measured in watts per kelvin-metre (W·K−1·m−1, i.e. W/(K·m). Multiplied by a temperature difference (in kelvins, K) and an area (in square metres, m2), and divided by a thickness (in metres, m), the thermal conductivity predicts the rate of energy loss (in watts, W) through a piece of material. In the window building industry "thermal conductivity" is expressed as the [http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=windows_doors.pr_ind_tested U-Factor] measures the rate of heat transfer and tells you how well the window insulates. U-factor values generally range from 0.15 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu per hour - square foot - degree Fahrenheit (ie. Btu/h·ft²·°F). The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates.

The reciprocal of thermal conductivity is thermal resistivity.


There are a number of ways to measure thermal conductivity. Each of these is suitable for a limited range of materials, depending on the thermal properties and the medium temperature. There is a distinction between steady-state and transient techniques.

In general, steady-state techniques are useful when the temperature of the material does not change with time. This makes the signal analysis straightforward (steady state implies constant signals). The disadvantage is that a well-engineered experimental setup is usually needed. The Divided Bar (various types) is the most common device used for consolidated rock samples.

The transient techniques perform a measurement during the process of heating up. Their advantage is quicker measurements. Transient methods are usually carried out by needle probes.


  • IEEE Standard 442-1981, "IEEE guide for soil thermal resistivity measurements", ISBN 0-7381-0794-8. See also soil thermal properties. [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/servlet/opac?punumber=2543]
  • IEEE Standard 98-2002, "Standard for the Preparation of Test Procedures for the Thermal Evaluation of Solid Electrical Insulating Materials", ISBN 0-7381-3277-2 [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/servlet/opac?punumber=7893]
  • ASTM Standard D5334-08, "Standard Test Method for Determination of Thermal Conductivity of Soil and Soft Rock by Thermal Needle Probe Procedure"
  • ASTM Standard D5470-06, "Standard Test Method for Thermal Transmission Properties of Thermally Conductive Electrical Insulation Materials" [http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/DATABASE.CART/REDLINE_PAGES/D5470.htm?E+mystore]
  • ASTM Standard E1225-04, "Standard Test Method for Thermal Conductivity of Solids by Means of the Guarded-Comparative-Longitudinal Heat Flow Technique" [http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/DATABASE.CART/REDLINE_PAGES/E1225.htm?L+mystore+wnox2486+1189558298]
  • ASTM Standard D5930-01, "Standard Test Method for Thermal Conductivity of Plastics by Means of a Transient Line-Source Technique" [http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/STORE/filtrexx40.cgi?U+mystore+wnox2486+-L+THERMAL:CONDUCTIVITY+/usr6/htdocs/astm.org/DATABASE.CART/REDLINE_PAGES/D5930.htm]
  • ASTM Standard D2717-95, "Standard Test Method for Thermal Conductivity of Liquids" [http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/DATABASE.CART/REDLINE_PAGES/D2717.htm?L+mystore+wnox2486+1189564966]
  • ISO 22007-2:2008 "Plastics -- Determination of thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity -- Part 2: Transient plane heat source (hot disc) method" [http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=40683]
  • Note: What is called the k-value of construction materials (e.g. window glass) in the U.S., is called λ-value in Europe. What is called U-value (= the inverse of R-value) in the U.S., used to be called k-value in Europe, but is now also called U-value in Europe.


The reciprocal of thermal conductivity is thermal resistivity, usually measured in kelvin-metres per watt (K·m·W−1). When dealing with a known amount of material, its thermal conductance and the reciprocal property, thermal resistance, can be described. Unfortunately, there are differing definitions for these terms.


For general scientific use, thermal conductance is the quantity of heat that passes in unit time through a plate of particular area and thickness when its opposite faces differ in temperature by one kelvin. For a plate of thermal conductivity k, area A and thickness L this is kA/L, measured in W·K−1 (equivalent to: W/°C). Thermal conductivity and conductance are analogous to electrical conductivity (A·m−1·V−1) and electrical conductance (A·V−1).

There is also a measure known as heat transfer coefficient: the quantity of heat that passes in unit time through unit area of a plate of particular thickness when its opposite faces differ in temperature by one kelvin. The reciprocal is thermal insulance. In summary:

  • thermal conductance = kA/L, measured in W·K−1
    • thermal resistance = L/(kA), measured in K·W−1 (equivalent to: °C/W)
    • heat transfer coefficient = k/L, measured in W·K−1·m−2
    • thermal insulance = L/k, measured in K·m²·W−1.

The heat transfer coefficient is also known as thermal admittance


When thermal resistances occur in series, they are additive. So when heat flows through two components each with a resistance of 1 °C/W, the total resistance is 2 °C/W.

A common engineering design problem involves the selection of an appropriate sized heat sink for a given heat source. Working in units of thermal resistance greatly simplifies the design calculation. The following formula can be used to estimate the performance:

R_{hs} = \frac {\Delta T}{P_{th}} - R_s


  • Rhs is the maximum thermal resistance of the heat sink to ambient, in °C/W
  • \Delta T is the temperature difference (temperature drop), in °C
  • Pth is the thermal power (heat flow), in watts
  • Rs is the thermal resistance of the heat source, in °C/W

For example, if a component produces 100 W of heat, and has a thermal resistance of 0.5 °C/W, what is the maximum thermal resistance of the heat sink? Sup

From Yahoo Answers

Question:what are some examples of heat transfer (convection, conduction & radiation). Thanks.

Answers:Convection is the transfer of heat by the actual movement of the warmed matter. Heat leaves the coffee cup as the currents of steam and air rise. Convection is the transfer of heat energy in a gas or liquid by movement of currents. (It can also happen is some solids, like sand.) The heat moves with the fluid. Consider this: convection is responsible for making macaroni rise and fall in a pot of heated water. The warmer portions of the water are less dense and therefore, they rise. Meanwhile, the cooler portions of the water fall because they are denser. Conduction is the transfer of energy through matter from particle to particle. It is the transfer and distribution of heat energy from atom to atom within a substance. For example, a spoon in a cup of hot soup becomes warmer because the heat from the soup is conducted along the spoon. Conduction is most effective in solids-but it can happen in fluids. Fun fact: Have you ever noticed that metals tend to feel cold? Believe it or not, they are not colder! They only feel colder because they conduct heat away from your hand. You perceive the heat that is leaving your hand as cold. Radiation: Electromagnetic waves that directly transport ENERGY through space. Sunlight is a form of radiation that is radiated through space to our planet without the aid of fluids or solids. The energy travels through nothingness! Just think of it! The sun transfers heat through 93 million miles of space. Because there are no solids (like a huge spoon) touching the sun and our planet, conduction is not responsible for bringing heat to Earth. Since there are no fluids (like air and water) in space, convection is not responsible for transferring the heat. Thus, radiation brings heat to our planet Good Luck!

Question:As you read this problem, your brain is consuming about 22.6 W of power. (a) How many steps with a height of 20.4 cm must a person of mass 63 kg climb to expend a mechanical energy equivalent to one hour of brain operation? steps (b) A typical human brain, which is 77% water, has a mass of 1.4 kg. Assuming that the 22.6 W of brain power is converted to heat, what temperature rise would you estimate for the brain in one hour of operation? Ignore the significant heat transfer that occurs between a human head and its surroundings, as well as the 23% of the brain that is not water. C

Answers:(a) 20.4 cm per step. That's 0.204m each. Force = Mass x Acceleration and Work = Force x Distance So: Work = Mass x Acceleration x Distance In this case, Work = Mass x Gravity x Distance Work per step = 63kg(9.81m/s^2)(0.204m) ({1J}/{1kg.m^2/s^2}) Work per step = 126.078 Joules Now, 22.6 watts is 22.6 Joules per second, so in an hour it would be: 22.6J/s(3600s/hr) = 81,360 Joules So: Brainwork for an hour / Work per step = Number of steps (81,360J) / (126.078J/step) = 645.3 steps If this doesn't make sense, look at the wattage rating on a big fan and compare it to the rating on a small electric heater. The little heater uses much more energy. (b) Known: m = 1.4kg Qdot(power) = 22.6w = 22.6J/s Qdot(power) x time = Q(heat) Q = 81,360 Joules (calculated above in (a)) c = specific heat capacity c = 4.184J/g.C (for water) Unknown: deltaT Base equation for heat and temperature change: Q = mc(deltaT) so: Q/mc = deltaT (note: deltaT just means change in temperature) 81,360J / (77%) (1.4kg) (1000g/kg) (4.184J/g.C) = deltaT 18.04C = deltaT So the brain temperature would increase by 18C in one hour, if the heat wasn't radiating off your head.

Question:I need to know about heat conduction. Like, the different types of heat conduction. Nothing specific. Just some info would be nice :-). Thanks!

Answers:Heat conduction happens mainly in solids where the particles are close to each other. Electrons in metals also help to conduct heat faster. Hence metals conduct better than non-metals. The particles in the hot end kind of nudge the particles in the cooler neighboring areas and heat is then transferred from the hot end to the cold end. Hence heat conduction does not effectively happen in stationary liquids and gases. In the liquids and gases, heat TRANSFER is mainly brought about by convection. The main consideration of convection happening is the appreciable change(decrease) in the density of the heated portion of the liquid or gas. Hence hot liquid and hot gas rise, while cooler liquid and cooler gas sink as the former has lower density than the latter.

Question:Describe the process of heat transfer by conduction. Please include what happens to the molecules that cause the thermal energy to be transferred. ALSO! How do the specialized systems of the brain integrate with one another in neural activity?

Answers:Conduction means the heat transfer occurs between objects in contact. An molecule on the hotter object transfers some of its potential energy to the molecule on the colder object.

From Youtube

mechanism of heat transfer :lecture on heat transfer vy conduction

Heat Transfer 1944 :This clip shows the three ways that heat energy moves - conduction, convection, radiation or any combination of these. From a 1944 US government film on refrigeration.