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Q & A: different materials get different temperatures?

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Most recent answer: 05/23/2015
Q:
why do 2 materials under the same weather has different temperature ?I have a small clue about it, I mean for exemple iron and wood supposed under sun's radiation and if we touch both of them, we'll notice a remarkable difference in temperatures just on the surface, or even by a near area, and that's a fact about the material itself if it reflect radiations totally ( as the iron ) or just a part of it ( as the wood ) .. well that leads to another question, if that was true then why in a cold area we found totally reversed results, because if we put the same materials in a cold area, and as the iron is the one who's gonna reflect energie more than the wood, we found outthat iron is actually colder then the wood ? That problem is really making me nervous and I keep asking people but none had the the convincing answer :/
- Mohamed (age 21)
Gafsa/Tunisia
A:

There are several effects going on here. If you leave metal and wood in contact, without major energy flow to or from other things, they'll come to the same temperature. That's true for any materials. However, they won't feel like the same temperature, because the metal has higher thermal conductivity. If they're cold, heat will flow more quickly from your finger to the metal, so it will feel colder. If they're hot, the metal will feel hotter.

Sitting in the sun, the one that absorbs sunlight better will probably get hotter. That could be either the metal or the wood, depending on the color etc. of their surfaces.

Mike W.


(published on 05/23/2015)

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