P6: Transfers of Thermal Energy

Note by Moon&Stars4U, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Moon&Stars4U about 7 years ago


IGCSE Coordinated Science Physics Note on P6: Transfers of Thermal Energy, created by Moon&Stars4U on 04/02/2014.

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One experiment: Prepare a few rods made from different materials Use wax to attack small pins to their ends  Afterwards heat the end of the rods  Thermal energy will be transferred by conduction from one end to another Of course, gradually the wax will melt and the pin will fall off  Best conducting rod will have the pin drop the fastest because it transfer the thermal energy the fastest

In any solid the particles are fixed in a regular structure and they cannot moveWhen the solid object is heated, the particles gain thermal and kinetic energy. Since they cannot move, they vibrate itselfWhen the particles with more kinetic energy vibrate, they pass the vibration to other particles as wellSo the thermal energy is passed on!

Non-metals: when something is supplied with heat, its atoms vibrate faster and pass these vibrations to adjacent atomsMetals: Same thing except there are some mobile electrons which travel randomly and collide with atoms and pass the vibrations

Convection is the main method of heat transfer in fluids 

If the bottom of, let's say a glass filled with water, is heated, then the water above the heat will become warmer. The more warm it gets, it expands and decreases in density. The less dense water rises as cooler, denser water sinks and takes its place or displaces it. This is an example of a convection current. 

Radiation is a method of heat transfer that doesn't require a medium to travel throughThey can travel through everything, even empty space!

Experiments to show the properties of good and bad emitters

Infrared radiation (which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum) is often involved in heat transfer by radiation

Applications: Solar panel: the sun's thermal radiation is absorbed by a matt black surface and warms up the pipes containing water Refrigerator: At the top of the fridge, this is where the freezer department is located. It cools down the air which sinks. Any warm air goes to the top and is cooled. This creates a convection current which maintains a cold temperature Metals in cooking ware: Conduct heat well

Consequences:A metal spoon in a boiling water will warm up since it conducts heatConvection currents create sea breezes. During the day when the land is warmer, it acts as a heat sources. However during the night, the sea acts as the heat source




Consequences of Energy Transfer

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