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Conduction body


A pot is held over a fire. The handle becomes hot because of conduction
Figure A: Transfer of Energy

During conduction, heat is transferred through the vibration of molecules in a substance.  As something gets warmer, it begins to increase the vibration and movement of the molecules that it consists of.  In solids, particles are closely packed together and are in direct contact. Since they are close to each other, particles that vibrate near the point of contact will pass on the vibrations to other particles nearby. The vibrations then spread throughout the object.  Conduction works similarly with liquids and gases, but since the density of the particles is less, there will be less efficient  energy transfer between the molecules.  Conduction occurs when two things at different temperatures touch each other and energy directly transfers from the material in the hotter object to the material in the colder object at the point of contact.

A metal pot used to boil water on a stove top is an example of how heat is transferred through conduction. At first the water in the pot is at room temperature and does not feel hot at all before placing the pot on the stove. After the pot sits on the stove, the pot and its handles begin to get warmer and warmer. After a while, the pot may become too hot to touch with bare hands. In this case, the heat from the stove  burner was applied to the bottom of the pot. Due to conduction, the tiny particles that made up the pot increased their vibration, and the vibrations eventually carried on through the entire pot. The heat we feel when we touch it is actually the vibrations.  The heat from the pot is also conducted to the water touching the pot (another example of conduction).

Wind Chill

Figure B

Last modified date: Monday, June 3, 2013 - 1:35pm