Thermal Energy Transfer - Conduction

Eileen Wild Retired


To examine the thermal energy transfer through a pane glass window and to
clarify the physical definitions of heat and thermal transfer.


Mies van der Rohe, the architect for the IIT campus was known for his extensive
use of glass. Many of the campus buildings are oriented in a North-South
direction with the major windows facing either East or West. These windows
therefore receive either the morning or afternoon sun.

Materials Needed:

Thermometers, transparencies, copper rod, flame source, overhead projector,
bubble raft


Thermal transfer through a copper rod, bubble raft analogy of a solid


You are going to measure the energy transfer occurring through the windows
oriented in each direction. Choose buildings with good air conditioning. The
greater the temperature difference, the better the results.

The following date is needed for your computation-
.area of the glass window
.inside temperature
.outside temperature
.glass conductivity K= .84 J/s
.glass thickness-assume l = 10-3 Substitute the above data into the following formula.
Performance Assessment:

Students are required to reproduce this exercise on windows of their own
dwelling. The results of their personal investigation solidify their knowledge
of energy transfer.

Return to Physics Index