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2 The Effects of Heat Flow on Matter

1. When objects are heated, their volume generally increases. This increase in size
called expansion.
2. When objects are cooled, their volume generally decreases. This decrease in size
is called contraction. In some cases, the expansion or contraction is very small and not

A. Expansion of Metals caused by heat.

1. Expansion and contraction of Explanation.

solids. a) When a metal is heated, its particles (atoms) receive
more energy and vibrate faster.
a) In the ball and ring experiment, the b) The particles occupy more space and move further
metal ball can pass through the ring apart from one another, keeping the same relative
before it is heated. positions. So the metal expands.

b) The metal ball cannot pass through

the ring after it is heated.

c) However, the metal ball passes

through the ring when it is cooled.
This shows that the metal ball expands
when it is heated and contracts when it
is cooled.

c) On cooling the vibrations slow down and the

particles return to their original positions. So the
metal contracts.

2. 3.
a) Different metals expand different a) The strong force of a contracting metal can
amounts on heating. be shown by the following experiment.

b) This can be shown by heating a bimetallic


b) The steel rod is strongly heated so that it

c) A heated copper-iron bimetallic strip bends expands. The nut is screwed tightly so that the
with the copper on the outside and the iron on cast iron bar is held tightly by the steel rod.
the inside. Then water is poured on the heated rod to cool
d) This shows that copper expands more than
iron. Observations
a) On cooling, the steel rod contracts and
(* Important facts!) breaks the cast iron bar into two.
Aluminium (Expands most on heating)
Brass Conclusion
Copper This shows that the steel rod exerts great
Iron force on cooling.
Invar (Expands least on heating)

B. Expansion of Liquids caused by heat.

1. A liquid expands when it is heated and contracts when it is cooled.

c) Hot water is poured into the basin.

The water level in the glass tube fall a little and then
The water level drops back to its original position when
the flask is taken out of the basin and cooled.

The result show that water expands on heating and
contracts on cooling.

1. Expansion and contraction of

liquids. Explanation.
a) When the water is heated, its particles (molecules)
a) The flask containing coloured water receive more energy and move further apart from
and carrying a glass tube is set up and one another in all directions.
placed in a basin. b) The water takes up more space and its volume
b) The water level in the glass tube is expands.
set up and placed in a basin. c) The water level in the glass tube falls a little at
first because the flask expands before the water.

2. Different liquids expand different amounts when heated.

b) The liquid level in each tube is marked, and hot

water is poured into the basin to heat the liquids.

The liquid levels rise to different height.
Alcohol rises the highest, followed by oil and

The liquid levels return to their original positions

2. Different liquids expand different
when the glass bulbs are taken out and cooled.
amounts when heated.

a) The three glass bulbs of the same size are
The result shows that different liquids expand
filled with different liquids and clamped in an
different amounts on heating.
upright position in a basin.

C. Expansion of Gases caused by heat.

1. Gases expand on heating and contract on cooling.

The drop of coloured water rises very fast when the
air is warmed.
When the flask of air is allowed to cool, the drop of
coloured water falls very fast.

The result shows that air expands very fast on
heating and contracts vary fast on cooling.

a) When the air is warmed, the gas particles
(molecules) receive more kinetic energy and move
outwards very quickly in all directions. So the air
expands very fast.

b) Gases can expand very fast because there is :

1. Expansion and contraction of gases.
i. Plenty of space between the particles.
ii. Hardly any force of attraction between the
a) The flask containing air is set up and
clamped upright. Z
c) All gases expand at about the same rate when
b) The position of the drop of coloured
water is marked.
c) The flask of air is warmed by placing
both hands on it.

D. Principle of Heat transfer.

1. Heat flows from a place of high temperature to a place of lower temperature.

heat flow temperature

2. The bigger the difference in temperature, the faster is the heat flow.
3. A hot cup of coffee becomes cold after a while because heat is transferred from it to
the air. This heat transfer will go on until the cup of coffee and the air are the same

Three ways
a) By conduction in transferring b) By convection
the Heat

c) By radiation

E. Conduction of Heat
1. a) If one end of a metal rod is heated, the other end will become hot.

b) Heat has been transferred from hot end to the cooler end through the
metal rod. This method of heat transfer is called conduction.
2. Conduction is defined as the movement of heat through a solid from a hot
part to a cooler part.
3. Explanation :
a) Conduction of heat can be explained by the particle theory.

b) When the hot end of a metal rod is heated, the particles (atoms) receive more
energy and vibrate faster.
c) The more active vibrating particles knock their neighbours. In this way the
stronger vibrations (heat) are passed along the metal rod. So heat is transferred
along the metal rod.
4. Metals are good conductors of heat. They allow heat to flow through them
5. Non-metals are bad conductors of heat. They are also known as insulators of
6. Different metals conduct heat at different rates i.e. some metals conduct
heat faster than others.

Conductors Insulators
Very Good
Silver Vacuum
Copper Air
Gold Cork
Aluminium Plastics
Iron Wood
Tin Goo Glass
Lead d Asbestos
Mercury Water

F. Experiments on Conduction of Heat

• Conduction of heat

• Different materials conduct Heat at Different Rates.

• Water as a Conductor

• Heat Insulators.

d) Car radiators
G. Uses of Heat conductors in Daily Life - Car radiators have copper tubes in front.
These tubes conduct heat away from the
hot water flowing through them.
a) Mercury in thermometers
- Mercury is good conductor of heat
suitable for use in thermometer.
e) Refrigerators
- It is warmed and cooled very quickly.
- Refrigerators have copper pipes for
carrying the cooling agent. The pipes remove
b) Cooking utensils heat from the agent.
Uses of Heat
- Pots and pans are made from
Conductors in
aluminium / steel so that they can
Daily Life f) Fins on motor cycle engines
quickly conduct heat from fire to the
- The ‘fins’ around the engine of a motor
cycle are made of stainless steel to conduct
heat away from the engine.

c) Soldering Irons
- The head of a soldering-iron is
usually made of copper so that it can
rapidly transfer heat to the metals
being soldered.

H. Uses of Heat Insulators in Daily Life

a) Handles of pots and pans e) Blankets

- They are made of wood / plastics so that - A blanket traps air among its fur and also air between it
they cannot get too hot for holding. and the body. Warm air under the blanket cannot escape
and cold air is kept away from the body by the blanket.

b) Igloos
- Is made of ice which is heat insulator.
It prevents warmth in the igloo from f) Fibre glass
- Fibre glass is placed in refrigerators
escaping to the air outside it. Uses of Heat
and oven to prevent heat transfer by
Insulators in
c) Saw Dust Daily Life
- Ice is covered with saw dust to prevent
heat from melting the ice quickly.

d) Styrofoam
- Ice is sometimes put into a Styrofoam
container to prevent it from melting. The
styrofoam prevent prevents heat from
going into the container.

. Heat Transfer by Convection

1. Liquids and gases are referred as fluids.
2. Liquid and gases are poor conductors of heat because their particles are far apart, except
for mercury.
3. Liquids and gases transfer heat by a process called convection,
4. Convection is defined as the transfer of heat through a fluid by the movement of the fluid
5. Convection can be explained by using the particle theory.

a) When a fluid (liquid or gases) is heated, it expands

and becomes less dense.

b) The heated fluid rises and cooler fluid flows in to

take its place. As a result, convection current is set
up in the fluid.

c) Heat is carried upwards by the liquid particles or

gas particles when they move upwards. This process
is called convection.

d) Convection cannot take place in a solid because

the particles in a solid cannot move about freely.

J. Experiments to Show Convection

• Convection in Air

• Convection in Water

K. Applications of Convection

1. Convection currents are made use of in daily life, and are observed in natu ral phenomena
such as sea breezes.
2. Electric kettle.

a) The heating element is fixed to the bottom of the

kettle. This allows heated water to rise and cool
water to come down, setting convection current.

b) In time the water becomes very hot and boils.

3. Refrigerator.

a) The freezer compartment is at the top of the

refrigerator. Dense cold air from the top sinks and
warmer air from below rises and creates convection

b) In this way the air in the refrigerator is cooled.

4. Car Radiator.
a) The heat generated when the car engine is running
heats up the water in the radiator. The hot water rises
and flows down the copper tubes in front of the
radiator. Here the water is cooled by air and by
conduction of heat by the copper tubes.

b) The water forms convection current in the radiator

and moves heat from the engine.

5. Ventilation in a building.

a) Convection currents are used in ventilating

a building.
b) Hot air which is less dense rises and
leaved through top openings in the
c) Cool air enters the building from below
through windows, doors and other

6. Land Breeze.

a) At night the land becomes colder than the

sea. (Land is a better conductor of heat
than the sea).
b) Hot air above the sea rises and cooler air
from the land moves in to take its place.
c) This causes a land breeze.

7. Sea Breeze.

a) During the day, the land becomes hotter

than the sea. (Land is a better conductor
of heat than the sea).
b) Hot air above the land rises and cooler air
from the sea moves in to take its place.
c) This causes a sea breeze.

L. Transfer of Heat by Radiation


a) When a thermometer is placed below a lighted bulb,

the thermometer registers a rise in temperature,
showing that heat from the bulb has reached it.

b) The heat could not have reached the thermometer so

quickly by conduction (since air is a bad conductor of
heat) or by convection (since hot air rises).

c) Heat has moved to the thermometer by a process

called radiation.

2. Radiation does not need the help of a medium; it can travel through a vacuum.
3. Radiation is defined as the transfer of heat without using a medium.
4. Radiated heat :
a) can be absorbed by a surface.
b) Can be reflected from a surface.
c) Travels at the speed of light.
d) Can travel through a vacuum.
5. Heat from the Sun travels through a vacuum in outer space to the Earth by
6. Scouts sitting around a camp fire receive a lot
of heat by radiation.
7. In cold countries, electric radiators are
used to radiate heat to warm a room.

M. The thermos Flask

1. The thermos flask is used to keep hot things inside it hot and
cold things inside it cold.
2. It is designed to reduce heat flowing into it or out of it.
3. Stopper
The stopper is made of cork or plastic. Both substances are bad
conductor of heat. So the stopper reduces heat transfer by
conduction and convection (heat is stopped from rising)
4. Glass wall
The glass wall is a bad conductor of heat. The inner surface
surfaces of the walls are silvery and reduce heat transfer by
5. Vacuum
The vacuum between the glass walls stops conduction and
6. Base
The base is made of cork which is a bad conductor of heat.

N. Comparing the methods of heat transfer

Conduction Convection Radiation

Book is passed from person to Book is carried by the first person

person. to the last person. Book is thrown by first person to the
last person.
1. Heat is transferred from 1. Heat is carried by particles 1. Heat is set free without using
particle to particle. moving away. any particles.

2. Process usually takes place in 2. Process takes place only in 2. Process can be carried out by
solids, but can also take place liquids and gases. solids, liquids and gases.
in liquids and gases.

3. Process cannot take place in a 3. Process cannot take place in a 3. Process can take place in a
vacuum. vacuum. vacuum.

4. Process is slow. 4. Process is fast. 4. Process is very fast (speed of