Why do different things (or surfaces) in the same room feel different temperature?


For example, when I walk barefoot om my room’s wooden floor, it feels colder than walking on the carpet in the same room. Or a glass feels cooler than say a piece of bread in the same environment. Why is this?

In: 1

Materials such as metal are great conductors of heat. The reason these materials feel colder to the touch is because when you touch them, the material absorbs the heat from your hand which quickly goes through the surface of the material, leaving it feeling colder.

The temperature you feel has to do with how fast heat moves into or out of your body with respect to whatever medium you’re feeling. So, medium that move heat faster, like metal, will feel hotter/colder than something that moves it slower like wood.

It’s because metal is a better heat conductor than say carpet. When you are touching metal, your body heat is being transferred at a much faster rate than if you touched carpet. The temperature that you feel it being cool is because the heat from your skin is being absorbed by the metal and being loss by your body.

We don’t detect temperatures like a thermometer based on how hot or cold it actually is, we do it based on how slowly or quickly heat enters/leaves the skin.

This means if something pulls the heat out of us faster, it will feel colder. And if something pushes heat into us faster, it will feel hotter.

Carpet insulates very well, so heat transfer will be much slower compared to a wooden floor, which will be slower than a tile floor. So a carpet will feel warmer than wood, because it pulls the heat out slower.

On the flip side, if the floor was heated up to like 50C, much hotter than your feet, the carpet would feel the coolest, because it would push the heat into your feet the slowest.

Temp you feel isn’t temp, but change in temp. Different things change temp different rates, so feel different.