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About meaning of colder

  1. Dec 1, 2007 #1
    A metal gar stand on a wooden deck feels colder than the wood around. Is the metal bar necessarily colder? Explain.

    I am not sure what does it means “necessarily colder”? The answer seems to be no, but how should I explained?
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2007 #2


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    When you are feeling a sensation of cold when you touch an object, what are you feeling? Look at it another way. If you were to to put a small stick of wood and cast-iron frying pan in an oven set to 300 deg F, which one would you prefer to grab with your bare hands and why. Both are at 300 deg, so what's different about them?
  4. Dec 1, 2007 #3
    Thanks, followed is my attempts:
    Due to the metal bar radiate heat at a higher rate to the surrounding than the wooden deck, hence we absorb more heat from the metal bar, and therefore we feel it is hotter. However, the rate of heat radiation does not reflect the current temperature of the substance.

    Is it correct?
  5. Dec 1, 2007 #4


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    Good explanation. It's all about heat conductors versus heat insulators.
  6. Dec 1, 2007 #5


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    Back to your original problem about the metal and wood on the deck. If they are both outside and at the same temperature (cooler than your skin temperature), why will the metal feel colder than the wood when you touch it? This problem is part physics and part physiology.
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