Today, as I began to drive my car home after work, I happened to touch the dashboard and found it to be uncomfortably hot. (The car sat in the sun, not in the shade, on a 104 degree day, for eight hours or so.)
I noticed that while it was uncomfortable, it was not the kind of heat that leads you to automatically, reflexively draw away.
As a sort of an experiment, I again touched the dash, to see just how hot it felt. As I kept my hand in contact with the dash, the heat sensation became worse and worse. After several seconds, I felt with some urgency that I ought to remove my hand. So I did.
But at no point did the feeling come close to a burning feeling. I suspect that with some willpower, I could have touched the dash for an indefinitely long period of time. If it had been, instead, a red hot electric stove heating element, I think no amount of willpower could keep me in contact with it for more than a split second.
Nevertheless, though I think I could have kept in contact with the dash indefinitely, it is unmistakable that after several seconds, the sensation I was recieving from my hand was one that was telling me it would really, really like me to withdraw my hand from the dash as soon as possible.
I did no detectable damage to my skin. But I don’t know that there would have been no damage if I had kept my skin in contact with the dash for substantially longer.
So I have a question. Can a surface be hot enough to cause this kind of sense of urgency (as in, please, urgently, remove me from this surface, because it is hot!), yet not hot enough to cause any physical harm to the skin?