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you're contradicting yourself (m) (archive)

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Posted by m3niko on January 31, 2001 at 19:49:33:

In Reply to: Aluminum is NOT a great heat conductor (more) posted by //EricF on January 31, 2001 at 19:09:20:

Because it has a low heat capacity (like styrofoam or air) it requires very little heat to change temperature.

Since, as you say, aluminum requires very little heat to change temperature, that means it absorbs what little heat is present and transfers that thermal energy to itself. Thus, it IS a very good conductor of heat.

This means that it's surface will cool quickly when air passes over it without the air temperature rising very much.

Again, if the aluminum's surface temperature cools quickly, that means it is able to transfer the thermal energy efficiently (ie, absorb and disperse the heat).

On the other side it may still be hot.

Here's an experiment for you. Take a long piece of aluminum and start heating up one end of it. You'll notice that the heat will get transferred all the the way to the other side of the aluminum, while the end you're heating up will not get all that hot.

What does this mean? It means that aluminum is a great conductor of thermal energy.


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