If you're looking to buy some kitchen pans as a gift or maybe for yourself this Christmas then this video from Scott Heimendinger over at Chow.com will give you all the pointers needed to make a well informed, science-y, decision.
Most people assume that expensive copper pans are the best kitchen pans but Scott disagrees with this and suggests people should go for a thick metal pots and pots.
It's all about how even the heat spreads on the bottom of the pan and he goes on to explain how a thicker metal will conduct the heat much more evenly than a thin one.
Why should you listen to Scott? Because he's one of the writers of the mammoth Modernist Cuisine cook book and actually wrote some software to analyze how heat is dispersed across the bottom of pans.