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Q & A: thermal conductivity of liquids

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Most recent answer: 10/20/2014
Which one "feels" hotter: water or oil at the same temperatures? (i.e. if I put my hand in a bowl of water at 80C and in a bowl of oil at 80C, in which one would I expect more pain...) Thanks
- Mauro (age 34)
Brusque, Santa Catarina, Brazil

The key difference would be how rapidly heat flows from the liquid into your hand. That depends mainly on the thermal conductivity of the liquid. According to a standard source, , water has a higher thermal conductivity than typical oils. So putting your hand in the water is an even worse idea than putting your hand in the oil.

Mike W. 

(published on 10/20/2014)

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