Does anyone know of any software I could use to look at thermal dispersion in silica? It is to basically see how far I can place a heater from a region until the active region no longer feels the effects of the heater.
Any good finite element analysis software (ANSYS, ABAQUS, CosmosWorks, etc.) should be able to solve this problem. You could also write your own program, using heat transfer equations, in software like MatLab. If the problem is simple enough (e.g., 1-D or axisymmetric), you could solve it in Excel or on paper.
I've solved the problem in 1-D but it's a 2-D problem, which I tried to solve myself but the results just don't look right, the post-doc and prof both don't think it's quite right, but can't say how.