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Thermal conductivity

The thermal conductivity, λ, is the quantity of heat transmitted, due to unit temperature gradient, in unit time under steady conditions in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, when the heat transfer is dependent only on the temperature gradient [Ref. 2].

image showing Thermal conductivity: period 4 periodicity for period 4s, 4p, and 4d chemical elements


W m-1 K-1


Values are given at 25&176;C. To convert to W cm-1 K-1, divide by 100.

Values are temperature dependent. Thermal conductivity tends to fall with decreasing purity.

Literature sources

  1. G.W.C. Kaye and T.H. Laby in Tables of physical and chemical constants, Longman, London, UK, 15th edition, 1993.
  2. D.R. Lide, (Ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 79th edition, 1998.
  3. J.A. Dean (ed) in Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA, 14th edition, 1992.
  4. A.M. James and M.P. Lord in Macmillan's Chemical and Physical Data, Macmillan, London, UK, 1992.