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Heat Transfer

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More Lessons for High School Physics

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A series of free Online High School Physics Video Lessons.

In this lesson, we will learn

  • the types of thermal energy transfer
  • conduction
  • convection
  • radiation

Thermal Energy Transfer

Thermal energy transfer involves the transfer of internal energy. The three types of thermal energy transfer are conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction involves direct contact of atoms, convection involves the movement of warm particles and radiation involves the movement of electromagnetic waves.

Understanding the processes behind thermal energy transfer.

Convection, Conduction and Radiation explained.


Conduction is a type of thermal energy transfer involving direct contact. The more tightly packed the molecules within a substance are, the more conductive the substance is.

A description of the process of conduction

This video contains 3 experiments about heat conductivity

Conductivity of different metals
Order of conductivity: Al, Brass, Fe, Ni, Cu, Stainless steel

An experiment to show that liquids are very poor conductors of heat


Convection is the movement of warm particles within fluids. Convection is often found in the air as heated air rises and cool air falls. This is because hot molecules spread apart, making them less dense and causing them to rise. Convection is also found in the ocean as currents of different temperatures travel and interact.

A description of the physics of convection

This video shows that warm water is less dense than cold water

Thermal Radiation or Infra-red Radiation

A description of the experiment the Herschel did to discover infra-red radiation

A video about the properties of thermal radiation or infra-red


Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway widget below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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