In the instance of a fluid or a solid, heat transfer is the vital process in which thermal energy is transposed to another substance. Three ways this process occurs include conduction, convention and radiation. Conduction is the transfer/flow of heat between two objects that are in direct contact and convection is the transfer of thermal energy via the physical movement of fluid particles (What You Need to Understand About Heat Transfer, 2018). Conduction also applies to material conservation of heat, alongside insulation. Insulation the efficiency of a material to prevent transmission of heat which may include forms of reflection or slower/less electrons and conduction is the contrary ability of a material, that has many free electrons to conduct heat rapidly in forms of collision, to enable heat to escape. A good insulator is aluminum foil as it reflects heat whereas a good conductor is metal.
Radiation is the only method of heat transfer that does not require particles to transmit energy as it harnesses electromagnetic/infrared waves. These concepts can be applied in how the Sun’s energy reaches and converts on Earth. There is a heavy reliance on radiation to transfer the Sun’s energy through the vacuum of space. As the sun emits energy in high velocity, infrared wave length form, Earth receives the light and absorbs it (How Does Heat from the Sun Reach Earth?, 2018). Within the absorption process, some energy is released into the atmosphere where compounds called aerosols absorb and convert this energy to heat.
Heat and light are closely correlated with each other. Light reacts in three modes when it hits a surface: transmission, absorption and reflection. When the natural tendencies of an incoming light wave and an object are not similar, the light is reflected in a visible form that is defined as colour. However, if the object is transparent, then energy travels through the object with minimum absorption and is reemitted on the opposite side of the object. The final process is absorption which is the most efficient in generating thermal energy. Light travels in frequencies and visible variations are neurologically interpreted as colours. In accordance to the Particle Theory, a light frequency is created by vibrational tendencies of electrons in a specific wave (Particle Theory – home., 2018 ). When a wave strikes an object that possesses an independent frequency, in the event of compatibility, absorption occurs. Elaborated, the object’s electrons will absorb the received energy to enhance their vibrational motion. The rapid vibration of atoms triggers interaction and the excessive energy creates heat.
Snell’s law provides a relationship between the angle and velocity of the waves, enabling the calculation of a refracted ray. The formula to calculate the angle of incidence is n1 sin (?1) = n2 sin(?2) where ?1 and ?2 represents angles and n is unknown (Williams, 2018).
This leads to the conclusion that 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 due to incompatibility, it will be reflected. White is the reflection of all colours whereas black is the absorption of all colours, hence the absence of reflection retains and conserves energy. This becomes the investigation 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 a favorable choice for our experiment.