Thermal conduction is the mode of heat transfer, which occurs in a material by virtue of a temperature gradient. A solid is chosen for the demonstration of pure conduction since both liquids and gases exhibit excessive convective heat transfer. In a practical situation, heat conduction occurs in three dimensions, a complexity which often requires extensive computation to analyze. In the laboratory, a single dimensional approach is required to demonstrate the basic law that relates rate of heat flow to temperature gradient and area.
The equipment consists of two heat-conducting specimens, a multi-section bar for the examination of linear conduction and a metal disc for radial conduction. A control panel provides electrical and power digital for display heaters in the specimens as well as the selector switch for data acquisition system. A small flow of cooling water provides a heat sink at the end of the conducting path in each specimen.