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Conduction Conduction is the transfer of thermal energy by collisions between particles in matter. Conduction occurs because particles in matter are in constant motion. When thermal energy is transferred by conduction, thermal energy is transferred from place to place without transferring matter. Thermal energy is transferred by the collisions between particles, not by the movement of matter. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Collisions Transfer Thermal EnergyConduction transfers thermal energy from warmer areas to cooler areas. Kinetic energy is transferred when particles collide with neighboring particles. As these collisions continue, thermal energy is transferred from the soup to the spoon and from one end of the spoon to the other end of the spoon. Conduction, Convection, and Radiation Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Thermal Conductors Thermal energy transfers faster by conduction through solids and liquids than through gases. The particles that make up gases are farther apart, so collisions between particles occur less frequently than they do for solids or liquids. The best conductors of thermal energy are metals. In a piece of metal, there are electrons that are not bound to individual atoms, but can move easily through the metal. Collisions between these electrons and other particles in the metal enable thermal energy to be transferred more quickly than in other materials. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Convection Convection is the transfer of thermal energy through a fluid by the movement of warmer and cooler fluid from place to place. Liquids and gases can flow and are classified as fluids. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Convection When convection occurs, more energetic particles move from one place to another due to differences in density. As the particles move faster, they tend to be farther apart. As a result, a fluid expands as its temperature increases. When a fluid expands, its volume increases, but its mass doesn’t change. As a result, its density decreases. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Convection Currents Differences in density within a fluid drive convection. Warmer, less dense portions of the fluid rise Cooler, denser portions of the fluid sink. Convection currents transfer thermal energy from warmer to cooler parts of a fluid by a rising and sinking action. In a convection current, both conduction and convection transfer thermal energy. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Deserts and Rain ForestsEarth’s atmosphere is a fluid. The atmosphere is warmer at the equator than it is at the North and South Poles. Moist, warm air near the equator rises. As it rises, the air cools and loses moisture, which rains on the equator. The cooler, drier air sinks back to the ground north and south of the equator, forming desert zones. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Radiation Almost no matter exists in the space between Earth and the Sun, so energy cannot be transferred by conduction or convection. Instead, the Sun’s energy reaches Earth by radiation—the transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves. These waves can travel through space even when no matter is present. Energy that is transferred by radiation often is called radiant energy. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Radiation and Matter When radiation strikes a material, some of the energy is absorbed, some is reflected, and some may be transmitted through the material. The amount of energy absorbed, reflected, and transmitted depends on the type of material. Materials that are light-colored reflect more radiant energy, while dark-colored materials absorb more radiant energy. When radiant energy is absorbed by a material, the thermal energy of the material increases. Conduction, Convection, and Radiation Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Radiation in Solids, Liquids, and GasesIn a solid, liquid or gas, radiant energy can travel through the space between molecules. Molecules can absorb this radiation and emit some of the energy they absorbed. This energy then travels through the space between molecules and is absorbed and emitted by other molecules. Because molecules are much farther apart in gases than in solids or liquids, radiation usually passes more easily through gases than through solids or liquids. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Controlling Heat Almost all living things have special features that help them control their thermal energy. The seal’s thick coat helps keep it from losing thermal energy. This helps them survive in a climate in which the temperature is often below freezing. The scaly skin of the lizard has just the opposite effect—it reflects the Sun’s rays and keeps the animal from becoming too hot. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Thermal Insulators A material through which thermal energy is transferred slowly is an insulator. Examples of insulators are wood, some plastics, fiberglass, and air. Material, such as metals, that are good thermal conductors are poor insulators. Gases, such as air, are usually much better insulators than solids or liquids. Some types of insulators contain many pockets of trapped air. These air pockets conduct thermal energy poorly and also keep convection currents from forming. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Insulated Buildings Building insulation is usually made of fluffy material, such as fiberglass, that contains pockets of trapped air. The insulation is packed into a building’s outer walls and attic, where it reduces the flow of thermal energy between the building and the surrounding air. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Thermoses A thermos bottle reduces thermal energy transfers into and out of the liquid in the bottle, so that the temperature of the liquid hardly changes over a number of hours. To do this, a thermos bottle has two glass walls. The air between the two walls is removed so there is a vacuum between the glass layers. Because the vacuum contains almost no matter, it prevents thermal energy transfers by conduction or convection between the liquid and the air outside the thermos. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Thermoses To further reduce thermal energy transfers into or out of the liquid, the inside and outside glass surfaces of a thermos bottle are coated with aluminum to make each surface highly reflective. This causes electromagnetic waves to be reflected at each surface. The inner reflective surface prevents radiation from transferring thermal energy out of the liquid. The outer reflective surface prevents radiation from transferring thermal energy into the liquid. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
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