Concept of Heat Transfer

Heat Transfer:

Heat is a form of energy. It cannot be lost according to the first law of Thermodynamics; rather it will be transferred. The first and second laws of thermodynamics are stated below:

• Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be transformed or converted from one form to another.

1st law of thermodynamics

• In the course of energy transfer, some energy is lost in the form of heat to the surroundings.

2nd law of Thermodynamics

Heat transfer indicates how heat flows between two systems of varying temperature. Meanwhile, understand that heat will always be transferred from the region of higher temperature to the region of lower temperature.

To better understand the dynamics behind the processes of heat transfer, it will be great if we first understood how the particles of matter move. Below is a quick explanation of the particulate nature of matter:

Matter is composed of particles which can be:

1. Tightly packed together (as seen in solids).
2. Loosely packed together (as seen in liquids).
3. Completely separated (as seen in gases).

Note: The movement of the particles of matter is a function of the overall kinetic energy present in them. (Think of kinetic energy as energy in motion).

From the above explanations, we can therefore conclude that gaseous particles have got the highest kinetic energy while solid particles possess the least kinetic energy.

An increase in the particles' vibrational, rotational or translational motion will imply an increase in temperature while a decrease in the particles motion (vibrational, rotational and translational) will mean a decrease in temperature. Based on this knowledge, we can therefore define temperature as the measure of the average kinetic energy possessed by the particles of matter.

From the above explanations on the movement of particles, we can now properly explain the transfer of heat.

Methods of Heat Transfer

Heat can be transferred through:

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