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NUMERICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF A CLASSIC PROBLEM OF PHYSICS: HEAT TRANSFER BY CONDUCTION

J.C. Conde, A. Riveiro, F. Lusquiños

Universidade de Vigo (SPAIN)
In the first science university course, most of the simplest and direct experiences of the basic Physics can be carried out and demonstrated as a laboratory practice. In this sense, we have focused on the topic related to the heat transfer of a solid by conduction, widely indexed in texts of Physics university.
We have dealt this subject from two points of view, as a laboratory practice where that incorporates different instruments to measure the temperatures gradients in the piece work, such as, a thermocouple and an infrared camera. It will allow to the pupil to record and then describe correctly the temperature distribution during the heating and the cooling of the solid.
In addition, we have proposed as a complementary work, a little numerical calculation to estimate and corroborate the temperature profile during the process. It will allow us to introduce to the pupil to the numerical calculation by Finite Element Method (FEM), emphasizing the main parameters and equations that are involved in the heat conduction. It has also been remarked the importance of the FEM as a powerful tool to describe the main physical process, using it as a complement to the experimental work.