Why the Air is poor conductor of heat energy?
1. The air molecules are have large mean free paths
2. There are no free electrons in air
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The second statement proves that air is poor conductor of electricity and not heat. The first reason explains poor heat conductivity of air and both reasons explain poor electrical conductivity of air. Conduction is the means by which heat is transferred from one part of a body to another or between two touching objects. Heat flows from the warmer to the cooler (part of a) body in order to equalize temperature. Conduction actually occurs through molecular movement, with one molecule bumping into another. In air, molecules have a relatively large “mean free path”, which means they have to move a relatively long distance (on the order of tenths of microns for air at normal pressure). Solids are better conductor than liquids and liquids are better conductor than gases. Metals are very good conductors of heat, while air is very poor conductor of heat.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module