Thermal conductivity of a material can be defined as the rate of heat transfer through a unit thickness of the material per unit area per unit temperature difference. The thermal conductivity of a material is a measure of the ability of the material to conduct heat. A high value for thermal conductivity indicates that the material is a good heat conductor, and a low value indicates that the material is a poor heat conductor or insulator.
Temperature is a measure of the kinetic energies of the particles such as the
molecules or atoms of a substance. In a liquid or gas, the kinetic energy of the
molecules is due to their random translational motion as well as their vibrational and rotational motions. When two molecules possessing different kinetic energies collide, part of the kinetic energy of the more energetic (higher-temperature) molecule is transferred to the less energetic (lower-temperature) molecule, much the same as when two elastic balls of the same mass at different velocities collide, part of the kinetic energy of the faster ball is transferred to the slower one. The higher the temperature, the faster the molecules move and the higher the number of such collisions, and the better the heat transfer.