This problem considers the performance of a heat sink designed for the thermal management of high-density electronic components. The heat sink is comprised of a base/spreader which in turn supports a number of plate fins exposed to flowing air. We model the flowing air through a simple convection heat transfer coefficient. Our interest is in the conduction temperature distribution at the base of the spreader. From the engineering point of view, this Problem illustrates the application of conduction analysis to an important class of cooling problems: electronic components and systems.
From the physical point of view, this Worked Problem illustrates many aspects of steady conduction heat transfer: (i) the basic elements of thermal resistance, (ii) the notion of a constriction resistance, and most importantly (iii) the utility of the "thermal fin'' concept, and (iv) the relevance of the classical "1D thermal fin'' idealization.