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Conduction and Insulation

This worksheet is about materials that are good heat insulators or conductors and explains conduction using the particle model of the different states of matter.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Physics: Energy

Curriculum subtopic:  Energy Changes and Transfers

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

Conductors let energy flow through them (for example, electrical or thermal energy). Heat energy travels through solids because of conduction. Materials that do not conduct heat well are heat insulators. We use these to insulate houses and prevent loss of heat energy.

 

Metals are good heat conductors. Wood and plastic are good heat insulators.

 

 

Solids are better heat conductors than liquids and gases. When solids are heated their particles gain energy and vibrate more; they also need more space to move around. The particles collide with (bump into) each other and pass the energy on.

 

Liquids and gases are better insulators than solids, because their particles are far apart.

What is a heat conductor?

A material that lets thermal energy flow through it.

A material that does not let thermal energy flow through it.

A material that lets electrical energy flow through it.

A material that does not let electrical energy flow through it.

 

What is an insulator?

An insulin injection.

A special tube that is used to heat the bath.

A material that does not let energy flow through it.

A material that lets energy flow through it.

How can you tell whether something is a good heat conductor or insulator?

Good heat conductors feel cold and heat insulators can give you an electric shock.

Good heat conductors feel warm and heat insulators feel cold.

Good heat conductors are brown and heat insulators are white.

Good heat conductors feel cold and heat insulators feel warm.

Why do good heat conductors feel hot/cold (depending on your answer for Question 3)?

They conduct heat away from you quickly.

They trap the heat inside them.

They let the heat escape in the environment.

They were not warmed up before use.

 

Bird feathers trap air inside them. Why do we use bird feathers in duvets and jackets?

Air trapped in them does not insulate heat.

Air trapped in them does not conduct electricity.

Air trapped in them is warm.

Air trapped in them does not conduct heat.

What model helps us explain conduction and insulation?

The particle model of solids.

The particle model of matter.

A model car.

A waxwork model.

 

Why are solids better heat conductors?

Their particles are away from each other, so it is easy for energy to be passed on.

Solids have no particles.

Their particles are very close together, so it is easy for energy to be passed on.

Their particles are very close together, so it is difficult for energy to be passed on.

 

Why are gases very poor heat conductors?

Their particles are far away from each other, so heat cannot be passed on.

Their particles are far away from each other, so heat can be passed on.

Their particles are close to each other, so heat cannot be passed on.

Their particles are close to each other, so heat can be passed on.

What happens to particles in solids when they are heated up?

They gain energy and vibrate more slowly.

They gain energy and vibrate faster.

They lose energy and vibrate faster.

They lose energy and vibrate more slowly.

Why do metals expand (get bigger) when they are heated up?

Their particles need less space to move, because they vibrate more slowly.

Their particles need less space to move, because they vibrate faster.

Their particles need more space to move, because they vibrate more slowly.

Their particles need more space to move, because they vibrate faster.

  • Question 1

What is a heat conductor?

CORRECT ANSWER
A material that lets thermal energy flow through it.
EDDIE SAYS
Conductors let energy flow through them, but insulators do not.
  • Question 2

 

What is an insulator?

CORRECT ANSWER
A material that does not let energy flow through it.
EDDIE SAYS
Conductors let energy flow through them, but insulators do not.
  • Question 3

How can you tell whether something is a good heat conductor or insulator?

CORRECT ANSWER
Good heat conductors feel cold and heat insulators feel warm.
EDDIE SAYS
If you walk around bare foot, tiles feel colder than carpets. Tiles conduct heat away from you fast, so your feet feel cold.
  • Question 4

Why do good heat conductors feel hot/cold (depending on your answer for Question 3)?

CORRECT ANSWER
They conduct heat away from you quickly.
EDDIE SAYS
If you walk around bare foot, tiles feel colder than carpets. Tiles conduct heat away from you fast, so your feet feel cold.
  • Question 5

 

Bird feathers trap air inside them. Why do we use bird feathers in duvets and jackets?

CORRECT ANSWER
Air trapped in them does not conduct heat.
EDDIE SAYS
Insulators trap air in them. Air particles are not close to each other, so the energy cannot be transferred.
  • Question 6

What model helps us explain conduction and insulation?

CORRECT ANSWER
The particle model of matter.
EDDIE SAYS
All matter is made of particles. The arrangement of particles in solids, liquids and gases is different.
  • Question 7

 

Why are solids better heat conductors?

CORRECT ANSWER
Their particles are very close together, so it is easy for energy to be passed on.
EDDIE SAYS
For heat to be transferred you need things in contact with each other, like the particles in solids.
  • Question 8

 

Why are gases very poor heat conductors?

CORRECT ANSWER
Their particles are far away from each other, so heat cannot be passed on.
  • Question 9

What happens to particles in solids when they are heated up?

CORRECT ANSWER
They gain energy and vibrate faster.
EDDIE SAYS
Particles in solids do not move around like in liquids and gases; they only vibrate.
  • Question 10

Why do metals expand (get bigger) when they are heated up?

CORRECT ANSWER
Their particles need more space to move, because they vibrate faster.
EDDIE SAYS
When the solid cools down again, it contracts (gets smaller).
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