Below are some examples of conduction. These examples will clearly illustrate what conduction is with examples you encounter everyday in life. However, what is conduction?
Conduction is a transfer of heat between different materials that are in direct contact.
An easy example of heat conduction is when you hold one end of an iron rod while the other end is in direct contact with a flame.
Heat will transfer through the metal by conduction. How does the heat reach the other end of the rod where you hand is?
When the flame is put at one end of the rod, the atoms at the heated end will vibrate more rapidly. The vibrating atoms at the heated end will then force the atoms in their neighborhood to vibrate as well thus creating a chain reaction. The process will continue until the atoms where your hand is are vibrating as well.
This is really what a heat transfer by conduction is about. It is a transfer of energy from atom to atom or from molecule to molecule.
Some materials are good conductors while others are not. Materials that are not good conductors are called insulators. If you hold a piece of iron in one hand and a piece of wood in the other hand that is another example of conduction. However, why do you feel that the piece of iron is colder? It is because it is easier to transfer heat from your hand to a metal. Wood is not a good conductor, but iron is.
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