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Q & A: visualizing metallic conductivity

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Most recent answer: 09/11/2009
Q:
not a question but rather a nice visual practical on conduction. It is easy to show the relative conductivity of different metals using a piece of thermochromic sheet. Simply very gently heat the ends of some thin rods of different metals (or use hot water as I usually do), while resting the other end on a thermochromic sheet. I have found that most students find this visual method a much easier way to distinguish a range of different pure metals and alloys.
- Dr Alexis Hunter-Craig (age 44)
Weston-super-Mare, England
A:
Nice idea. Since the electrical conductances of modest lengths of metal wire tend to be too low for easy measurement in school, this thermal conductance method sounds useful.

Mike W.

(published on 09/11/2009)

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