BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thermographic footage of a demonstration to show the difference in heat conduction between a glass rod (left) and a copper rod (right). The rods are placed in a beaker, into which boiling water is poured. The water heats the rods, but they do not heat up at the same rate: the heat travels up the copper rod much more quickly. This shows the difference in thermal conductivity between the two materials. Copper is one of the best conductors of heat, which is carried by free electrons in the metal structure. Glass has an amorphous non-crystalline structure with no free electrons, and it conducts heat much more poorly.
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