Heat Energy, Convection And Radiation Essay

Heat Energy, Convection And Radiation Essay

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Heat energy is transferred through three ways- conduction, convection and radiation. All three are able to transfer heat from one place to another based off of different principles however, are all three are connected by the physics of heat. Let’s start with heat- what exactly is heat? We can understand heat by knowing that “heat is a thermal energy that flows from the warmer areas to the cooler areas, and the thermal energy is the total of all kinetic energies within a given system.” (Soffar, 2015) Now, we can explore the means to which heat is transferred and how each of them occurs. Heat is transferred through conduction at the molecular level and in simple terms, the transfers occurs through physical contact. In conduction, “the substance itself does not flow; rather, heat is transferred internally, by vibrations of atoms and molecules” (Physics, 1998) Four factors are involved with conduction- temperature gradient, cross section of the involved materials, the length of their path and the properties that the material possesses. Heat is transferred through convection by motion of fluids, for example, water or air. The denseness of hot water allows for convection currents which than transport energy. Basically, the hotter material moves into the area of the cooler material. This process of convection is possible because “the hotter part of the fluid is not as dense as the cooler part,” (Physics, 1998) therefore, showing us that this is the key component in heat transfer through convection. Heat is transferred through radiation by means of electromagnetic waves. This process involves “the carrying of energy from an origin to the space surrounding it.” (Physics Classroom, 2015) Simply, when radiation occurs, the waves move in diff...


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...sonal opinion, I believe that radiation is probably the most important. Being that conduction and convection do not have the ability to transfer heat from the Sun to the Earth, and wander around in that “empty space,” without radiation, we would not receive the warmth from the sun through the electromagnetic waves. Imagine all the ways that this would affect us and how much we desperately need and rely on it. When we think about heat transfer as a whole and all of the ways it is involved in everyday life, only then can we truly realize exactly how much centers around and relies on it and why each three means of heat transfer is important and significant in their own ways. Without the ability to transfer heat, life as we know it, would not be possible- our everyday activities would not be possible and that alone, shows us how vital the transfer of heat energy truly is.

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