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Energy Transfer

Heat. What is Conduction?

Heat can be transferred by conduction only in solids.
If one end of a solid is heated, the particles of the solid
kinetic energy. This means that they move faster.

In a solid the particles are held together by strong
forces of attraction. The only way in which the
particles can move is to vibrate forwards and backwards.

When the solid is heated, the amount by which the particles
vibrate is increased. This is what is meant by saying
that the particles of the solid have gained kinetic energy.
The increase in energy (heat) is passed on
to the next particle, which in turn starts to vibrate more.

In the above picture, the blue rectangle represents a
solid and the amount of vibration is shown by the
length of the arrows. The orange arrows on the left
represent hot particles. The blue arrows
from the middle onwards represent cold particles.

In non-metals the process of heat transfer by conduction
is slow. It takes a long time for the particles to
pass on their heat. Non-metals are not good conductors.
They are good insulators (continued on the next page).

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