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Q & A: Thermal Conductivity

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
I need to know the best metal rods for heat. I have this scince fair coming up and im trying to find some good rods to see how fast heat can tavel down 3or4 different rods. Thanks!!
- Jamie (age 14)
Quitman,Texas, US
A:
Jamie -

Generally speaking the materials which conduct electricity the best also conduct heat very well. So metals like silver and copper will conduct heat well, while materials like glass and rubber will not.

A material's ability to conduct heat is described by its Thermal Conductivity, k, the higher the conductivity, the better it conducts heat. You can look up values of the thermal conductivity for common materials in many general high school or college level physics and chemistry books.

Other than that, you're on your own. Try experimenting, that's the point of a science fair project.

Tim

(published on 10/22/2007)

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