In the case of attempting to heat and cool down an object of different states, if you in some case managed to achieve the same temperature of a solid, liquid and gas what state would scientifically heat or cool the object faster?

On my view point I suggested a gas to be more efficient simply due to how the particles move. However I was soon objected by someone else stating that a liquid would be far more efficient.

I was not given a reason , therefore I am asking which would be correct to assume and why.


2 Answers 2


A liquid is better than a solid for cooling an object, because it can make more complete contact with the object being cooled, plus it can undergo convection, so the layer of liquid next to the object being cooled is replaced by cooler liquid as the liquid circulates around the object.

A liquid is denser than a gas (giving better contact with the object being cooled) and also will likely have a higher heat capacity, which translates into a higher "cooling" capacity as well. But don't forget about "wind chill factor" - a moving blast of air is a lot more efficient at cooling an object than stationary air. Convection ovens take advantage of this principle too, but for heating rather than cooling. Liquids will probably be more effective than gases for most cooling applications, but there will probably be some exceptions.


The solid.

Place a warmer block of steel in contact with the same amount of water in each of its phases at the triple point. The ice will both give a lower temperature for the steel and it will cool faster since most of its heat capacity is at the freezing point. Thus there is a large temperature difference for the longest time.


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