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Heat Transfer

In segment C, students learn about thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity and see if their predictions for how fast the ice cubes melt were correct. Our host explains how heat capacity affects the earth's climate, and the students begin an experiment using samples of greenhouse gases.

In segment C, students learn about thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity and see if their predictions for how fast the ice cubes melt were correct. Our host explains how heat capacity affects the earth's climate, and the students begin an experiment using samples of greenhouse gases.

Premiere Date: August 15, 2016 | Runtime: 00:16:20

Support Materials


Greenhouse Gases Lab
Time Temp Worksheet-Blank
Time Temp Worksheet-Numbers
Unit 8C Note Taking Guide & Segment Questions

Crosscutting Concepts

Energy and Matter

Flows, cycles, and conservation. Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations.

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

Structure and Function

The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

Cause and Effect

Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.


absolute zero - the temperature at which all molecular motion stops and entropy is zero.

calorimetry - a method of measuring the quantity of heat transferred in a process. 

chemical thermodynamics - the study of energy changes that accompany chemical reactions or physical changes in the state of matter; also known as thermochemistry.

endothermic - describes a process that takes in or absorbs energy from its surroundings. 

enthalpy - a thermodynamic quantity equivalent to the total heat content of a system. 

entropy - the measurement of energy dispersal.

exothermic - describes a process that produces or gives off energy to its surroundings.

first law of thermondynamics - the amount of energy in the universe is a constant. Energy can be transferred from one substance to another or transformed into other forms of energy, but it cannot be created or destroyed.

heat - the transfer of energy from a warmer object to a cooler object; also known as thermal energy. 

joule - the SI unit of measure for energy, abbreviated J. 

second law of thermodynamics - energy always disperses from a more usable form of energy to a less usable form.

specific heat capacity - the heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one degree Celcius.

surroundings - everything around the system, i.e. air, water, packaging, etc... 

system - the chemical reaction or physical process being monitored. 

temperature - a measurement of the average kinetic energy or molecular movement in an object or system. 

thermal conductivity - a measure of the ability of a material to transfer heat. 

third law of thermodynamics - the entropy of a system at absolute zero is zero. 

Georgia Standards of Excellence

SC2Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the chemical and physical properties of matter resulting from the ability of atoms to form bonds.

SC2.cConstruct an explanation about the importance of molecular-level structure in the functioning of designed materials. (Clarification statement: Examples could include why electrically conductive materials are often made of metal, flexible but durable materials are made up of long chained molecules, and pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific receptors.)

SC2.gDevelop a model to illustrate the release or absorption of energy (endothermic or exothermic) from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.

SC3Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how the Law of Conservation of Matter is used to determine chemical composition in compounds and chemical reactions.

SC3.bPlan and carry out investigations to determine that a new chemical has formed by identifying indicators of a chemical reaction (specifically precipitate formation, gas evolution, color change, water production, and changes in energy to the system should be investigated).

SC5Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the Kinetic Molecular Theory to model atomic and molecular motion in chemical and physical processes.

SC5.aPlan and carry out an investigation to calculate the amount of heat absorbed or released by chemical or physical processes. (Clarification statement: Calculation of the enthalpy, heat change, and Hess’s Law are addressed in this element.)

SPS7Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain transformations and flow of energy within a system.

SPS7.bPlan and carry out investigations to describe how molecular motion relates to thermal energy changes in terms of conduction, convection, and radiation.

SPS7.cAnalyze and interpret specific heat data to justify the selection of a material for a practical application (e.g., insulators and cooking vessels).

SPS7.dAnalyze and interpret data to explain the flow of energy during phase changes using heating/cooling curves.

S8P2Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the law of conservation of energy to develop arguments that energy can transform from one form to another within a system.

S8P2.dPlan and carry out investigations on the effects of heat transfer on molecular motion as it relates to the collision of atoms (conduction), through space (radiation), or in currents in a liquid or a gas (convection).

Request Teacher Toolkit

The Chemistry Matters teacher toolkit provides instructions and answer keys for labs, experiments, and assignments for all 12 units of study. GPB offers the teacher toolkit at no cost to Georgia educators. Complete and submit this form to request the teacher toolkit. You only need to submit this form one time to get materials for all 12 units of study.