Heat and Thermodynamics

     Sketch of the Cenco thermal conductivity 
     apparatus, showing copper heat receiver R and 
     slab of insulator specimen S.

H 02: Thermal Conductivity of Insulators

A thin slab of an insulating material, such as porcelain, wood, or styrofoam, is placed between a vessel of boiling water and a metal heat sink. Thermocouples and a Fluke 52 digital thermometer are used to measure the temperature of the slab as it heats up. From your data, the conductivity of the material (or alternatively the R-value) can be found.

     Diagram adapted from Overbeck, et. al., 
     Selective Experiments in Physics: Thermal 
     Conductivity (Advanced Theory). Copyright 1959, 
     Central Scientific Company.