Conduction is the movement of heat or electricity through a material without any perceptible motion of the material.
Everyday Examples of Heat or Thermal Conduction
- After a car is turned on, the engine becomes hot. The hood will become warm as heat is conducted from the engine to the hood.
- A radiator is a good example of conduction. Anything placed on the radiator, like an article of clothing, will become warm.
- You can warm your back muscles with a heating pad.
- Roasting wieners over a campfire is fun until the heat from the fire is conducted up the coat hanger to your hand.
- Trying to cross the street barefoot in the summer may result in heat being conducted from the asphalt to your feet.
- The heat from a hot liquid makes the cup itself hot.
- An ice cube will soon melt if you hold it in your hand. The heat is being conducted from your hand into the ice cube.
- Hot food will heat a stoneware or porcelain plate for a time.
- If you are cold and someone holds you to warm you, the heat is being conducted from their body to yours.
- Heat will transfer from a hot burner on the stove into a pot or pan.
- A metal spoon becomes hot from the boiling water inside the pot.
- Chocolate candy in your hand will eventually melt as heat is conducted from your hand to the chocolate.
- When ironing a skirt, the iron is hot and the heat is transferred to the skirt.
- If you stoke your log fire in the fireplace with a poker and leave the poker in the fire, it will become very hot.
- A heat exchanger uses a hot fluid to conduct heat to a cooler fluid without the two touching.
- If you touch a hot stove, heat will be conducted to your finger and your skin will burn.
- Sand can conduct heat. Walking on the beach on a hot summer day will warm your feet.
- Light bulbs give off heat and it you touch one that is on, your hand will get burned.
- The Earth warms from the light of the sun as the heat is conducted through the atmosphere
Everyday Electrical Conduction
- The wires in your house conduct electricity and allow lights to come on when you flip the switch.
- With a landline phone, sound waves are converted into electricity and conducted over wires to the other person’s phone where they are converted back to sound waves.
- Bio sensing devices read signals that are conducted from the receptor.
- Salt water has properties that allow for excellent conducting of electricity.
- Dirty water conducts electricity much better than clean water.
- Some gases, like oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, become good conductors when they are exposed to different elements. During an electrical storm, barometric pressure drops and the atmosphere become denser and these gases become conductors.
Materials that Are Good Conductors
Now that you have reviewed these examples, check out more examples in the article Examples of Heat Conduction.