transferring thermal energy

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transferring thermal energy

Transferring thermal energy

Conduction is the transfer of thermal energy by collisions between particles in matter. It occurs because particles in matter are in constant motion. When heat is transferred by conduction, thermal energy is transferred from place to place without transferring matter. Heat moves faster in solids and liquids than in gases when using conduction. Silver, copper, and aluminum are the best conductors of heat. When it occurs, more energetic particles collide with less energetic particles which causes it to transfer thermal energy.


Convection is the transfer of thermal energy in a fluid by the movement of warmer and cooler fluids from place to place. When it occurs, more energetic particles move from one place to another. As the particles start to move faster, they get farther apart. As a result of that, the fluid expands as the temperature increases.


Radiation is the transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves. The waves can travel through space even when no matter is present. Radient energy is energy that is transferred by radiation. When you stand by a fire, you can feel your hands get warm. Much of that warmth you feel has been transferred from the fire to your hands by radiation. When an object is striked by radiation, some of the energy is absorbed, some is reflected, and some of it may be transmitted through the material. The amount of energy that is relected, absorbed, and transmitted depends on the material. Materials that are dark-colored absorb more radient energy, but light-colored materials reflect more radient energy.


An insulatoris a material in which heat flows slowly. Some examples of insulators are wood, some plastics, fiberglass, and air. Some materials, such as metals, that are good conductors of heat are poor insulators. In those types of materials, heat flows more rapidly from one place to another. Gases are usually better insulators than solids or liquids. Some insulators contain pockets of trapped air. The air pockets conduct heat poorly and keep convection currents from forming.



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