These are questions I've made up to try and wrap my head around the topic, so the theory within the questions themselves might be flawed. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data There are a number of metal sheets that are similar in every way except they each have slightly different masses. The temperature of the air in contact with the individual sheets will increase more with the heavier sheets, and less with the lighter sheets. a) What thermal properties describe this situation? b) If a small plastic square is placed in the middle of a sheet, how will this affect the average temperature of the air in contact with the sheet as a whole (the entire front surface including plastic)? 2. Relevant equations 3. The attempt at a solution a) I'm reasonably sure it has to do with the specific heat capacity of the metal. The sheets will absorb heat from the Sun via radiation. As the heat is absorbed the temperature of the metal will go up. The sheet will also be transferring heat to the air in contact with it, so the temperature of the air will go up. We can prove that the heavier sheets will heat up (and increase the temperature of) the air more from the specific heat capacity equation: Q = mcΔT So because the same amount of heat Q from the Sun is hitting each sheet, if the mass m increases then so will the temperature. b) For this part I'm a little uncertain. I think the thermal conductivity of the plastic will be the important bit here because it will be significantly lower than the metals'. This means that it is not able to effectively absorb the heat from the Sun - which means that it can't transfer the heat to the air in contact with it. Because the plastic is not contributing much to heating the air, we can say that it is reducing the amount of radiation hitting the surface of the metal sheet. Basically - the exposed surface area of the sheet has been reduced. This in turn means the sheet will be absorbing less heat, which means it won't be transferring as much heat to the air in contact with it, so the temperature of the air won't be as high as if there was no plastic square. Are those answers good logic? Especially for part b) is it the thermal conductivities that is key?