You are on page 1of 25

Heat Transfer

Practical Questions and Answers


Wrap a fur coat around a thermometer. Will

its temperature rise? Explain why or why not.
If you hold one end of a metal nail against a
piece of ice, the end in your hand soon
becomes cold. Does cold flow from the ice to
your hand? Explain.


No, the thermometer will not heat up because

it is the same temperature as the coat. There
has to be a difference in temperature in order
for heat transfer to take place
No, cold does not flow. Heat flows from your
hand to the nail to the ice. Since your hand is
losing heat, it feels cold. HEAT is the only
thing that flows.

Practice Question

Explain why firewalkers can walk safely

across a bed of red-hot coals in bare feet.


Because the rate of heat transfer is slow,

because coals are not very good conductors.
If they walk fast enough, there is only a small
amount of heat transferred to their feet, and
they do not burn.

Practice Question

If heat transfers from hot to cold, and stops

when the two objects reach the same
temperature, explain why it is possible for the
inside of your car to be hotter than the air
outside on a hot summer day.


The greenhouse effect. Electromagnetic

waves from the sun enter your car through
the windows and are absorbed by the seats
and other objects in the car. They then reemit electromagnetic radiation of a different
wavelength that cannot pass through glass.
All of that energy is therefore trapped inside
the car, causing the temperature to rise.

Practice Question

Since a hot cup of tea cools more rapidly

than a lukewarm cup of tea, would it be
correct to say that a hot cup of tea will cool to
room temperature before a lukewarm cup of
tea will?


No, because as it cools, the rate of heat

transfer slows down until it is just as slow as
the lukewarm cup of tea. The only way to
make it cool faster is by introducing
convection. (mpemba effect)

Practice Question

The Concorde supersonic airplane is 20 cm

longer when in flight. Explain why.


As the jet flies, it experiences a huge amount

of friction, which heats it up significantly. This
causes thermal expansion, and the plane

Practice Question

What is temperature a measure of?


The average kinetic energy of the particles.

Practice Problem

If you drop a hot rock into a pail of water, the

temperature of the rock and the water will
change until both are equal. The rock will
cool and the water will warm. Is this true if
the rock is dropped into the Atlantic Ocean?


Yes, yes, yes!!! Even though the Atlantic

ocean is huge, the heat that leaves the rock
enters the water (law of conservation of
energy). This means that the temperature
will increase. Since the ocean is a huge body
of water, it will be an incredibly small change,
but a change nonetheless.

Practice Problem

When you step out of a swimming pool on a

hot, dry day, you feel quite chilly. Why?


The water will start evaporating in the air.

Evaporation requires energy (heat) and that
heat will come from your body. Since you are
losing heat, you will feel cold.

Practice Problem

Does a gas give off or absorb energy when it

turns into a solid?


It gives off energy, because it is going from

high energy to low energy.

Practice Problem

Why does blowing over hot soup cool the



Convection cooling is a very effective method

of heat transfer.

Practice Problem

In a still room, smoke will sometimes rise only

so far, never reaching the ceiling. Why?


The smoke will be initially hot. Since hot air

is less dense than cool air it will rise.
However, it will cool as it rises until its density
is the same as the density of the air in the
room. At that point, it will stop rising.


If a cool cup of water is floated inside of a pot

of water that is already boiling, will the water
in the cup ever boil?


NO! Heat will transfer from the boiling water

to the cool water until the two are the same
temperature. At that point, there will be no
more net heat transfer. In order for the water
in the cup to boil, it needs more heat after it
reaches 100 degrees Celsius.