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Energy and heating

Energy and heating

Heat energy can be transferred by conduction, convection or radiation..


Conduction is the process where vibrating particles collide with their neighbouring particles to transfer energy.


Convection is the process where heated particles of liquids and gases move from hotter region to cooler region.


Insulation is a material that prevent heat transfer from one area to another.

Thermal conductivity

Thermal conductivity is a measure of the ability of a certain material to transfer energy when it is heated.

  • Metals are very good heat conductors and transfer energy very quickly.

  • Brick, wood and concrete are poor heat conductors.

Specific heat capacity

The Specific heat capacity is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of a substance by 1 degree Celsius.

  • Specific heat capacity is measured in joules per kilogram per degree Celsius (J/kg°C).

  • Different materials need different amounts of energy to change temperature.

  • The specific heat capacity of water is 4,200 Joules per kilogram per degree Celsius (J/kg°C).

  • You will need 4,200 J to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1°C.

  • You will need only 139 J to raise the temperature of 1 kg of mercury by 1°C.