Thermal Conduction

Kinetic exchange of energy

Thermal conduction: also known as heat diffusion, is the kinetic exchange of energy between two objects in physical contact. In this scenario, one object has a higher temperature than the other. Heat Energy will diffuse from the hotter object to the cooler object until thermal equilibrium is reached as described in the second law of thermodynamics. This process is similar to chemical osmosis, when chemicals are dispersed across a membrane until saturation is equal on both sides of the membrane.
In simpler terms: “Cold” is the absence of heat energy. Therefore a sort of energy vacuum exists between a cold object and its surroundings. This will continue until a state of thermal equilibrium is reached between the object and its surroundings. At this point, the object is no longer “cold.”


Prevention: separate the two objects with dead air space, insulation, vacuum space or a combination of these. Vacuum space is the most effective as heat transfer by conduction requires mass to transport the energy and therefore cannot cross a vacuum.

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