

Conductivity and Specific Heat
Name: Gilad
Status: student
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A
Question:
A question was posted on your site considering whether there is
a relation between thermal conductivity and specific heat. One of your
tutors answered that there is not. Please reference him to Fourrier's heat
formula and its derivatives where he will find that the relation
between the two is thermal diffusivity.
Replies:
Gilad,
I found this question in the archives:
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/mats05/mats05052.htm
If this is the question to which you are referring, I think you might
be thinking of a different meaning of the word "relation" than the
questioner intended. (if you mean a different question, please let me
know which you mean)
One meaning of 'relation' is purely mathematical, meaning 'is there an
equation that contains both terms'. By that meaning, you are correct
 thermal diffusivity is simply the ratio of thermal conductivity to
heat capacity, so yeah, there exists an equation with those three
terms. If you know two of the three terms then calculating the third
is trivial. However, I don't think that was the point of the question.
I think the question that was being asked was not about simple
algebra, but a more basic question about a relationship (i.e not just
an equation that contains both terms) between the two properties. I
interpreted the question (as did the responder) to be about if you
could determine the thermal conductivity based on knowing heat
capacity, or vice versa. The answer given is that the two are
independent quantities  and I believe that response is quite
correct.
Hope this helps,
Burr Zimmerman
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Update: June 2012

