The thermal conductivity, also thermal conductivity of a solid or a liquid, is its ability to transport thermal energy in the form of heat. The (specific) thermal conductivity is given in watts per Kelvin and meter and is a temperature-dependent material constant.
The thermal conductivity is to be distinguished from the thermal diffusivity, which indicates the rate at which a temperature change propagates through a substance. Knowledge of the thermal properties of solids and liquids is becoming increasingly important today.
In many applications, such as automotive, aerospace, energy, ceramics, glass, and building materials, very precise information about the thermal behavior of the materials used is of utmost importance.
Thermal management of buildings, for example, is becoming an increasingly important topic due to the skyrocketing energy costs. Heat flows also play a major role in the semiconductor industry, for example when thinking of modern integrated systems such as computer processors.