Explain The Mechanism Of Conduction?


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All solids (metal or non-metals) are made up of tiny particles called atoms, or groups of atoms called molecules. However, there is one important difference between metals and non metals; metals contain many free electrons which are able to move randomly between the molecules. In non metals, there are very few electrons.

Take two rods, one copper and the other wooden. When heat is supplied to one end of the rod, the molecules at the hot end vibrate vigorously and jostle their neighboring molecules, making them vibrate as well. Thus some of the kinetic energy of the vibrating molecules at the hot end gets transferred to their neighbors.

This process of passing heat from the hot end to cold end by molecular vibration is common to both copper (metal) and wood (non-metal). It is relatively slow mechanism of heat transfer compared to another mechanism of heat transfer that is taking place in metals: free electron diffusion

When the rods are heated, the free electrons in the copper move faster as a result have more kinetic energy. These fast moving electrons diffuse or spread into cooler parts of the metal and transfer their kinetic energy to the molecules by colliding with them. This explains why rate of heat transfer in metals is faster than in insulators.

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