Heat transfer is the vital process in which thermal energy is transposed to another substance, whether it be a fluid or solid. There are three ways in which this process can occur include conduction, convention and radiation.
Conduction is the transfer/flow of heat between two objects that are in direct contact with each other and convection is the transfer of thermal energy via the physical movement of fluid particles. When both convection and conduction rely on the particle theory to transmit heat, radiation is the method of heat transfer that does not require particles for energy transfer but conveys energy in electromagnetic/infrared waves that can travel through empty space. The application of these concepts involves the method in which the Sun’s energy both reaches and is converted to thermal energy on Earth. Due to the large space of empty matter that consists between them in the vacuum of space, the transference solely relies on radiation. Th Sun emits its energy in infrared wave length forms, enabling it to reach Earth especially with its velocity. Once Earth is satiated with the energy, its radiates some back into the atmosphere, being convection, where compounds called aerosols absorb this energy – keeping the atmosphere warm. Heat and light share a close correlation and both can be converted into each other. One method in doing so involves the three modes light reacts when it hits a surface: transmission, absorption and reflection.
Transmission and reflection is present in the general absence of absorption. When the natural tendency of both the light and the object it strikes do not align, the light is reflected in a visible form that is defined as colour. However, if the object is transparent then the vibrational energy is predominantly through the object where little absorption occurs and reemitted on the opposite side of the object. Of these processes, absorption is the most efficient technique in converting light into thermal energy.
Light travels in frequency waves and the visible spectrum of light wave variations are neurologically interpreted as colours. In accordance to the Particle Theory, a light frequency is created by vibrational tendencies of electrons from the atoms of the specific wave. When a wave strikes an object that has its own frequency, if both frequencies are compatible absorption will occur. Within this process, the object’s electrons will convert the light wave’s energy and harness it to enhance their vibrational motion. The rapid vibration of atoms interacting with their neighboring atoms creates thermal energy from the excess energy and therefore it is obvious that the amount of absorption would have to be accelerated in the experiment. Yet there is another component to light properties which is refraction – the bending of light due to the difference of velocity in the medium it strikes. Snell’s law provides a relationship between the angle and velocity of the waves.
The formula to calculate the angle of incidence is n1 sin (?1) = n2 sin(?2) where ?1 and ?2 represent angles and n is unknown. This leads to the conclusion that the visible component of a wave – colour – is highly incorporated with absorption and reflection. If the pigment of an object is unable to absorb a particular frequency in the variation of ROYGBIV as the frequency is incompatible, it will be reflected. White represents the reflection of all colours whereas black is the absorption of all colours, meaning that if the colour black absorbs all wave frequencies and reflects none – then the most energy is conserved and retained. This becomes the investigative question for this experiment – will colour affect the conservation of heat in an object? This is an interesting question that involves multiple variables and hence it was the optimal choice for our experiment.
Another element that impacts heat conservation is insulation and conduction which encompasses physical properties of a material. DO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT CONDUCTION AGAIN? Insulation is a material that efficiently prevents the transmission of heat throughout different mediums due to its slower vibrational tendencies of electrons. An example of a good insulator is aluminum as it is able to slowly conduct and retain heat.