Supercharge your learning!

Use adaptive quiz-based learning to study this topic faster and more effectively.

Thermal conductors and insulators

A good thermal conductor is a material that transfers thermal energy quickly.

All metals (e.g. iron, copper or gold) are thermal conductors. This is because they transfer thermal energy by free electron diffusion.

A thermal insulator is a material that conducts thermal energy very slowly.

Most non-metals like plastic or wood are thermal insulators. This is because insulators transfer thermal energy by atomic collisions only.

A perfect thermal insulator transfers no thermal energy at all.

A vacuum is a perfect insulator as there are no particles to conduct the heat.

These rolls of woollen blankets are very good thermal insulators.
These rolls of woollen blankets are very good thermal insulators.