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Topic: Why are metals good conductors of heat  (Read 3597 times)

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Offline AlwaysQuestioning

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Why are metals good conductors of heat
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:12:17 AM »
Hi guys. First post here.

 Why is it that metals (or in the case i'm wondering, alkali metals) good conductors of heat?


Thanks so much  :)

Offline Corribus

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Re: Why are metals good conductors of heat
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 12:28:26 PM »
Do some reading on phonons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonons
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Why are metals good conductors of heat
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 09:42:57 AM »
Metals conduct heat well because their electrons move easily, and this is more efficient than phonons in most other materials.

Though, diamond, silicon, graphite, alumina... can be excellent heat conductors, and some metals (titanium alloys) poor ones.

As electrons carry kT (or 3/2kT or whatever) as well as q, metals  show a constant ratio between their heat and electricity conductances - at least under usual conditions. Useful if you lack data.

This has limits. For instance, superconductors carry heat badly.

Nitishajack

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Re: Why are metals good conductors of heat
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 08:00:36 AM »
Because in general metals have free electrons making the passage of heat or current a lot easier than woods ,plastics ect

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