Energy transferral 

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  • Created by: Jazz
  • Created on: 06-06-11 20:48



  • Solids are good conductors of thermal energy because they have a close packed structure and regular arrangement of atoms, which allows them to transfer heat from one atom to another more easily
  • Metals are particularly good conductors of thermal energy as they contain free electrons

Conduction Process

  • When a metal is heated, the metal ions gain Kinetic Energy (KE) and vibrate more
  • This KE is transferred through the metal by free electrons which collide with metal ions and other electrons, thereby passing on the energy
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Conduction properties

  • A shorter rod will conduct more heat than a longer rod because it has less to heat up
  • A rod with a larger cross sectional area will conduct more heat as it is wider
  • A rod with a larger temperature difference across its ends will conduct more heat
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Convection in a liquid (e.g. water in a kettle)

  • The element heats up and passes thermal energy to the water nearest to it
  • When a liquid is heated, it gains KE and the water molecules start to move faster
  • The temperature of the water rises causing the warm water to expand and become less dense
  • This warm, less dense water rises to the top of the liquid
  • When the hot water at the top of the kettle cools, it becomes less dense and falls back to the bottom of the kettle
  • This cycle known as a convection current is repeated until all the water in the kettle has been heated and boils
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