Did you forget your girlfriend’s birthday? Big mistake! But you don’t have to suffer a cold night next to your ice queen. With a bit of heat transfer you can warm her up and increase your chances of getting lucky tonight. Even though you don’t deserve it, I’m going to teach you how to melt her heart and prevent a disaster.
There are several ways of transferring heat from one place to another. Today I will be focussing on conduction between two solids, or bodies. Conduction can be described as a way to transfer energy within and between bodies of matter. These bodies of matter, or just your body, are made up of tiny particles that vibrate more and more as you heat them. Think of it as reaching for an object which you didn’t know was hot. You immediately let go and wave your hand in misery. These particles also wave, or vibrate, and pass this motion on to other particles they collide with. So heat tends to move towards a colder area, because the particles play tag from one end to the other.
Eventually the two bodies will reach thermal equilibrium. Basically this means that the difference between temperatures of the bodies is about equal and remains steady. This is mostly a theoretical concept since there will generally be another source of heat around you to transfer its heat to you (the sun, other people, a stove, a sauna, or an erupting volcano).
So much for the good news. I’m afraid I have to stress the fact that, if you want to melt your girlfriend’s chilling attitude, you have to … touch her. Yes gentlemen, that means you have to sit next to her on the couch, wrap your arms around her and pretend you care while not falling asleep. If you’re lucky, she won’t slap you in the face before your heat has transferred over to her body. Perhaps it’s a small consolation to know that you’ll be sweating bullets when you approach her, and so will have plenty of heat to give.