Let's say that a hot gas is trapped in a metal box. This metal box is magnetically suspended in another structure with a low temperature. The inner box does not touch anything. And there is a void in the structure. To me there seems to be no way for heat transfer to occur. Will the gas change its temperature with time?

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    $\begingroup$ Conduction, Convection, _______? $\endgroup$
    – user2963
    Jan 1, 2012 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ @pewfly is right. If you want an example of a system like that, just wait for sunrise. $\endgroup$ Jan 1, 2012 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


I can't make this a comment since I don't have enough reputation.

The metal box itself can absorb some of the heat (by conduction) and then give out energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. If you want to do some real physics with such a system, you could idealize the box as a black body and continue.

  • $\begingroup$ As far as I can understand, this is interesting, so the energy is converted anyway in other forms, and even if there is no heat transfer the temperature goes down as the box converts heat to electromagnetic radiation. And a black body facilitates a faster transfer. $\endgroup$
    – Palax
    Jan 1, 2012 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Palax: it's not really accurate to say "even if there is no heat transfer"; heat is being transferred from the box into the electromagnetic field. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2012 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ you're right because electromagnetic radiation can cause heating, it is like a medium of transfer by electromagnetic radiation. thanks for your careful reading $\endgroup$
    – Palax
    Jan 2, 2012 at 13:23

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