Heat and light energy can be transferred through their own respective ways. Light can be reflected, refracted, absorbed or transmitted by a medium. Reflection is when all or part of the beam of waves return when it reaches a medium. Absorbance is when light waves convert into other forms when passing through the atoms in a medium (Isaacs, Daintith and Martin, 1996). In addition, visible light is absorbed when the white light hits a medium, most of it will be absorbed, leaving the reflected light named the colour; the absorbed light is also energy, causing the atoms to vibrate and conduct energy in the medium. Whereas the transmission of light is when it is not absorbed by atoms but causes the atoms to vibrate and pass through the medium (Henderson, n.d.). According to Snell’s law regarding refraction, when the refracted waves of the sines of the angles of incidence pass through two mediums, the ratio is constant (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018).
Through the methods of conduction, convection or radiation, heat can be transferred.
Electromagnetic waves are radiation; the sun’s radiation is in the form of red infrared waves that transfers heat onto earth and can pass through any medium that is not too dense. Convection is the heat transfer process where the heated fluid becomes less dense and drops below the colder denser fluids in a cycle. Conduction is when heat is transmitted from an area of high temperature to low temperature. In gases and liquids, the collision from surplus kinetic energy with atoms, causes it to convert to heat energy. Whereas in metal solids and liquids, the electrons move at a faster pace, causing the heat energy to migrate and collide often, a clear representation of how metals are better conductors than fluids. Thermal conductors are high in free electrons while thermal insulators contain few concentrations in free electrons (Isaacs, Daintith and Martin, 1996). This will be the focus of the experiment: to investigate which material provides the most effective insulation of heat in a pizza box.