Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Physics



Faculty Advisor(s)

Tianbao Xie (Thesis Advisor)
Jennifer T. Heath & Joelle Murray (Committee Members)

Subject Categories

Heat Transfer, Combustion | Materials Science and Engineering | Physics | Thermodynamics


An experiment was designed and conducted to explore the relationship between thermal conductivity with free electrons in metal. In the experiment, copper, iron, aluminum, and titanium rods with close diameters were used to carry out the experiment. Each rod was heated up by a heat unit at one end while cooled on the other end with a heat sink to maintain a steady state. DC current was applied to rods in the direction along, as well as against, the heat flow. Thermal conductivities were measured in these two situations for each rod. Results showed electrons do dominate thermal flow inside metal.