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In the molecular explanation of conduction, heat is transferred by…

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In the molecular explanation of conduction, heat is transferred by the

  • A. Free electrons
  • B. Free atoms
  • C. Free molecules
  • D. Free solids




As the quantity of heat within a substance increases, the average kinetic energy of the free molecules also increases. As the average kinetic energy of these free molecules increases, more collisions between adjacent molecules also increases, and by extension, the temperature also increases.

Now, if a substance with high temperature comes in contact with another substance of low temperature, the high-vibrating free molecules of the hotter substance collides with the low-vibrating free molecules of the colder substance. These collisions will result in slowing down the faster molecules and quickening the slower ones, transferring heat until all particles begins to vibrate equally. This is how heat is transferred by free molecules according to molecular explanation of conduction.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is incorrect. not free electrons, electrons do not transfer reasonable quantity of heat energy, they only transfer electric energy.
  2. Option B is incorrect. this explanation is at the molecular level and not at the atomic level.
  3. C is correct. heat transfer done by vibrating molecules.
  4. D is not the correct answer. heat transfer here is being done at the molecular level and not at the level of the whole lump of solid.


You may please note these/this:

  • Even the question says ‘molecular explanation’, this in itself reveals the right answer.

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/ culled from 2019 JAMB-UTME physics question 31 /

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