1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Heat conduction

  1. Apr 27, 2010 #1
    Describe the physics behind an engineering system where heat conduction phenomena
    plays an important role. (a familiar system)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2010 #2

    kuruman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    And your thoughts are ... ?
     
  4. Apr 27, 2010 #3
    I've tried it but i don't think its an engineering system....

    Thermal energy flows from a material at a higher temperature to a material at a lower temperature. This general process is called heat transfer. Conduction is the transfer of heat energy by which moving particles make other particles move by the direct contact of particles of matter. Conduction can also occur through the material. A good example of this is a hot cup of tea that is stirred with a metal spoon. As heat flows from the tea to the immersed part of the spoon, that section of the spoon becomes hot. The atoms begin to vibrate rapidly. The immersed atoms are tightly connected to the neighboring atoms along the handle of the spoon. As a result, these atoms also begin vibrating. Their vibrations cause the molecules in your fingertips to vibrate, which creates the feeling of warmth. In metals, free electrons carry the heat energy faster than the atomic vibrations and transfer it by colliding with other electrons and atoms. Because of this, metals are particularly good conductors of heat because their particles are very closely packed so the vibrations are passed on very quickly.
     
  5. Apr 27, 2010 #4

    kuruman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You are giving definitions of conduction. Can you think of an engineering system (i.e. gadget) that relies on the conduction process, as you have described it, to do something useful for people?
     
  6. Apr 27, 2010 #5
    Can i take for example a solar water heater?
     
  7. Apr 27, 2010 #6

    kuruman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Sure, but you need to specify from where to where the conduction takes place and show that without conduction (i.e. if you insulated the part where conduction takes place) the solar water heater will no longer heat water.
     
  8. Apr 27, 2010 #7
    Ahhhh ok...thank you very much...
    i will elaborate on it...It's more clear now...=)
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook