Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Primer on the Physics of Heat Flow, and Why There is No Global Warming - Part 4

Attention:  I've just been told that NASA would never agree with any of this basic physics.  Do not read if you believe in the "Infallibility of the Pope of NASA".

There are 3 main types of heat transfer, or heat flow.  The first is what I showed before - conduction.

The billiard balls or molecules are in a tight net and heat is transferred by immediate contact.  This is one of the least significant ways of transferring heat.  You get it mostly at your stove.  If you touch the handle of your cast iron frying pan, you get burned.  That brings up 'conductivity' which is a fundamental property of matter, like density.  Highly conductive materials, like cast iron and copper, spread heat rapidly.  You pick these things up with your silicone mitts, which have low conductivity.  All three of these properties have nothing to do with each other -- conductivity, density, and specific heat (ability to store heat energy).  The are defined when you cast the metal.

The second most useless heat transfer mechanism is 'radiation'.  Just heat radiation, not the nuclear thing.   If you have a nifty thermal camera, like the CAT one I once had, then you can see pictures with infra-red.  We have neat infra-red sensors in our face.  Close your eyes and pivot to something hot, like a fireplace or stove.  You can detect it.  We got that from the snakes.  :) 

How it works:  If the solid gets warm enough, the billiard balls start to vibrate wildly on the surface.  That causes electrons to shift orbits.  A photon is created which takes away energy.  Warm objects release very low frequency photons, even microwaves.  As the object becomes hotter, you can see the 'red' because of higher frequencies.  It can go up and up to 'white hot'.  Your LED lights are rated by the temperature of a tungsten filament.  Something like 3500K for warm white, and 5000K for Arctic Blue light.  Degrees Kelvin is just Celsius but starting from Absolute Zero.

You just worry about radiation heat loss from your windows. Although it is very minor in the Grand Scheme of Things, it is the Be-All and End-All of nasa physics and the carbon hypothesis.  I would compare it to an English Major playing on the highway, worrying about butterflies, while big trucks bear down on him.  Maybe he will be able to compose "The Danger of Butterflies on the Highway" before something happens.  :)  To the very end, he will be convinced that there are only butterflies on the highway.

-- to be continued

No comments: