# Types of Heat Transfer: Conduction

### Heat Transfer - Conduction:

Conduction can be defined as the transfer of heat energy from one point to another through a solid material termed conductor.

You can think of 'conductor' as a solid material through which electricity, heat and sound can flow through. In this regard, metals are generally good conductors.

Let's explain heat transfer by conduction through this simple experiment which you may carry out at home.

The image below shows a simple experiment where heat is transferred via conduction through a thin metallic rod. This thin metallic rod acts as a conductor in this instance.

From the above image, the 'hand' holding the thin metallic rod (conductor) will eventually feel its 'hotness'. This is so because heat (from the candle fire) had been transferred through the thin metallic rod.

Heat transfer via conduction is an observable phenomenon during the process of cooking. In this case, the pot (which acts as a conductor here) transfers the heat of the fire through conduction into its contents. As a result, the contents of the pot becomes cooked (or boiled in the case of water).

Similarly, heat from the cooking pot is transferred via conduction to whomever touches it with their bare hands.

Below is another simple experiment on heat transfer via conduction. It can also be carried out at home.

• Step 1: Boil three cups of water in a pot. When the water is very hot, put out the gas.

• Step 2: Get another pot and fill it with three cups of cold water.

• Step 3: Get an iron rod and make both ends of its edge contact both waters, that is: the hot and cold water respectively.

Observation: After we carry out the above procedure, an increase in the temperature of the iron rod will be observed as heat is transferred into the cold water through the iron rod. The iron rod in this instance acts as a conductor and it transfers heat through conduction.

The movement of heat energy in the above experiment will follow the path below:

Hot Water >> Iron Rod >> Cold Water

In the above experiment, it is the transfer of heat energy that brought about an increased temperature in the iron rod and consequently, the cold water; nothing more, nothing less.

Below are some notable points concerning the experiment:

1. Heat is the only factor that escaped from the warm water.
2. Heat is the only factor that was gained by the iron rod.
3. Heat is the only factor that was gained by the cold water.
4. With regards to the iron rod, the heat gain will increase its particles vibrational kinetic energy.
Please read on the concept of heat transfer to comprehend (vibrational and rotational) kinetic energy.
5. With regards to the cold water, the heat gain will increase its particles rotational kinetic energy.

This heat transfer will continue until equilibrium is achieved; that is, the water inside both cups and the connecting iron rod eventually attain the same temperature.

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