Interferometric methods are non-intrusive optical measurement techniques, which find extensive use in flow and heat transfer visualization. The present work originates from the idea that by a suitable experimental system and data analysis method, the interferometric technique can be used to estimate its thermal conductivity. A method is developed to obtain the thermal conductivity of a transparent medium using the optical technique of differential interferometry. The basis is of this method is the measurement of the local interference fringe shift values along an isothermal flat plate surrounded by the medium to visualize the heat transfer field. The local Nusselt number distribution along the plate is estimated from fringe shift and compared with theoretical local Nusselt number distribution along an isothermal plate, and this comparison is used to estimate the thermal conductivity of the medium.

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