heat conduction

Heat conduction

A temperature sensor can be used to study the conduction of heat through different materials. Two temperature sensors allow a comparison to be made. In this experiment strips of metal are heated in a Bunsen flame and the temperature change recorded. The material which shows the faster temperature rise is a better heat conductor.


Different metal rods of identical size, clamps, stands, Bunsen burner, tape, interface and temperature sensors. Take care not to heat the sensors beyond their maximum rated temperature.

Setting up

Connect temperature sensors to sockets
1 and 2 on the interface. Tape the temperature probes at the ends of the metal rods. Use the clamps to hold the sensors and rods.

Recording the data

Record for 5 minutes. Move the rods into the Bunsen flame and ensure that each is heated equally.

Using the results

How does the graph tell you that the metals are getting hotter?

Does the graph tell you if heat is travelling through the metal? Could the temperature probes be getting warmer without the heat travelling through the metal?

How can you tell which of the rods gets hot fastest?

What do the graphs tell you about the two metals?

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