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Old Jan 5th 2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Which transfers more heat as a whole in the universe?

Which transfers more heat as a whole in the universe?
Conduction vs radiation

The most obvious guess is radiation due to stars. Conduction seems to be considered negligible in stars but I've only read that in the context of energy transport to the surface and not necessarily just back and forth from inside of the star.
I've been having some issues finding a good source for an answer.

I just made a new account to ask the question due to a friend--not expecting much.
Thanks for reading!
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Old Jan 5th 2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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I would agree with you - the only way that heat is transferred through the vacuum of space is by radiation. However - you make a good point that all that radiation comes from the surface of stars, and there must be a mechanism that transmits heat from the interior of the star to its surface. But that mechanism is primarily convection, not conduction. So - given the choice of conduction versus radiation, I would choose radiation.

One other point - the stars are not the only source of radiation in the universe. Consider the existence of the microwave background radiation, the famous 2.7 Kelvin black body radiation.
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Old Jan 5th 2015, 03:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ChipB View Post
I would agree with you - the only way that heat is transferred through the vacuum of space is by radiation. However - you make a good point that all that radiation comes from the surface of stars, and there must be a mechanism that transmits heat from the interior of the star to its surface. But that mechanism is primarily convection, not conduction. So - given the choice of conduction versus radiation, I would choose radiation.

One other point - the stars are not the only source of radiation in the universe. Consider the existence of the microwave background radiation, the famous 2.7 Kelvin black body radiation.
Thanks for the reply. I was aware that convection plays a much bigger role in transferring heat to the surface of a star but was still wondering if the 'back and forth' conduction moved transferred more heat even if it ultimately wouldn't really end up anywhere.
Is there a good source you can link me to that states something similar to your post about radiation? (not that I don't value your original input)

Btw, this thought came up after the following comment from an offtrack discussion about painting heatpipes: 'yes, infrared light is pretty much mostly how heat is transfered. and the hotter the body gets the more it shines = the more light is getting into visible spectrum for us.'
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