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Temperature oscillations in a metal: Probing aspects of Fourier analysis Documents

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Temperature oscillations in a metal: Probing aspects of Fourier analysis 

written by Sohaib Shamim, Wasif Zia, and Muhammad Sabieh Anwar
published by the LUMS School of Science and Engineering

Describes an experiment to acquaint students with physical illustrations of concepts in Fourier analysis using a simple experimental setup involving wavelike behavior. In addition, students measure the speed of propagation of thermal oscillations, analyze the heat equation and measure the thermal diffusivity of the material under observation.

The objectives of the experiment are:

1. to understand the basis of heat flow and recognize heat conduction as a diffusive process,
2. to learn about solutions of the heat equation,
3. to decompose an oscillation into its harmonics,
4. to observe different harmonics and how they damp with different rates, and
5. to estimate the thermal diffusivity of a metal.

Last Modified February 12, 2012