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How Heat Transfer Works

04/06/15

Heat. Time. Pressure. These are the main factors that go into creating--for just one example--such marvels as the heat-transferred graphic motifs found within our SS ‘15 collection. Alright, so they look nice, but how do they work? It's time for an ISAORA Physics 101 lesson. Everyone take a seat.

Matter (anything with physical substance) is made out of particles in various states of being. There are particles that vibrate, particles that translate, and particles that rotate. From these motions, particles are given kinetic energy (the energy of motion). Which is to say that a moving object can create change on anything it comes into contact with.

Which leads us to… temperature.

Temperature is the average amount of kinetic energy found in particles in a sample of matter. The more the motion--vibrating, translating, rotating--the greater the temperature.

Okay, so now let’s talk about heat.

Imagine you’ve got a higher temperature object next to a lower temperature object. Heat--that thing you feel when you place your hand on the hood of a car that’s been running for a few hours--is the flow of energy from the hot object (the car hood)  to the less hot object (your hand). Heat transfer happens as the result of this temperature disparity between the two objects, bonding the two items together until both objects have arrived at thermal equilibrium--something you don't necessarily want to reach when it comes to any incredibly hot item coming into contact with your hand.  

To reach thermal equilibrium, thereby providing you with, say, a snappy graphic tee that was once just a plain shirt, the following happens. Take a piece of matter. It is made of fixed-position vibrating particles, as well as other bouncing particles that are free to move around within the matter’s perimeter and collide with the perimeter walls. As temperature increases, the collisions (called “elastic collisions” in this case, in that the total amount of kinetic energy of all colliding particles is maintained) of these two particles against the perimeter transfer across said perimeter to the opposite side.

In this transfer, the more energetic particles (read: hotter) lose a little kinetic energy (cool off) and the less energetic particles (read: cooler) gain a little kinetic energy (heat up). The collision of particles between two pieces of matter continues until the temperatures of both objects are the same, with an equal average kinetic energy. The result can be anything from a cold can of Coke dropped into a pot of boiling water becoming one weird, lukewarm aluminum stew or a black tee and a set of white stripes morphing into the ISAORA Parallax T-Shirt.