Thermal diffusivity

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In heat transfer analysis, thermal diffusivity (symbol: \alpha\,, but note that the symbols κ, D, and k are all commonly used) is the thermal conductivity divided by the volumetric heat capacity. It has the SI unit of m²/s.

where:

The denominator of the thermal diffusivity expression above, \rho c_p\,, can be identified as the volumetric heat capacity with the SI unit of J/(m³·K).

Substances with high thermal diffusivity rapidly adjust their temperature to that of their surroundings, because they conduct heat quickly in comparison to their volumetric heat capacity or 'thermal bulk'.

See also

Definition Copyright ©1989 CRC Press LLC. All rights reserved.

References

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