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Heat is conducted through a material through atoms passing energy along to their neighbours. As one atom vibrates with heat energy, its neighbours gradually increase their vibrations, and then pass them along to their neighbours, who pass along to their neighbours, until the whole solid is of equal temperature. This is more effective on some materials than others, hence why metals conduct heat more efficiently than, say, wood. Solids also tend to conduct heat more efficiently than liquids or gasses as the particles are closer together and therefore easier to pass energy along to.

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