The tip of a rod is heated with a torch and brought into contact with the center of a metal sheet. A thermal camera is then used to image the temperature profile of the surface as a function of time. The infrared camera is capable of recording radiometric data with 1 mK resolution in nearly 105 pixels, so thermal diffusion can be monitored with unprecedented precision. With a frame rate of approximately 10 Hz, the pace of the data acquisition minimizes the loss of accuracy due to inevitable cooling mechanisms. We report diffusivity constants equal to 1.23 ± 0.06 cm2/s in copper and 0.70 ± 0.05 cm2/s in aluminum. The behavior is modeled with a straightforward but oddly under-utilized one-dimensional finite difference method.

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