Let’s usage the instance of water in a pot. Take it a pot full of cold water and also place the on a stove. Turn the warm on, and the water near the bottom of the pot it s okay warmed much faster than the water near the top. At some point all the water will be at the very same temperature since of the process of convection.

You are watching: Compare the heating in the mantle to a cooking pot of soup.

Convection is the movement of warmer matter into a an are occupied by chillier matter. Once the warm is rotate on, the water molecules near the bottom the the pot begin to relocate faster. Together they relocate faster, over there is no increase in the number of water molecules, but since of their quick movement, the same variety of molecules bring away up much more volume. Remember, density = massive / volume, so, through definition, the warmer water i do not care slightly less thick than the cooler water, wherein the molecule are relocating at a reasonably slower pace.

Same # of molecules in a smaller an are = greater density

Same # of molecule in a larger space = reduced density

To highlight this ide of molecule density, imagine a roomful that toddlers. Each son represents one molecule. During snack time, they every sit in ~ a table in a relatively small space. Here there is a greater density that children. In ~ recess, the same number of children runs approximately frantically and takes up the whole room. The number of children hasn’t increased, however the youngsters now accounting a much bigger volume the space. Their density has decreased.

Since the warmer, faster moving water is less dense than the colder, slower moving water, it rises come the optimal of the pot. Together the warmer molecules increase to the top, castle displace the colder molecules, which are then forced to sink to the bottom. As these colder molecules acquire close come the resource of the heat, they start to relocate faster, end up being less dense, and also rise to the top. The procedure continues.

Everyday Experiment – Convection have the right to be pretty

Convection is simple phenomenon to illustrate using stuff you’ve probably already got in her kitchen:

If you are unwilling to usage such a large quantity of oil, you have the right to do the experiment with plain tap water and spices. The effect is the same, but not rather so visually dramatic. Monitor the indict above, substituting water for oil. Pick a spice the floats until it is waterlogged, climate starts to sink. Red pepper flakes work-related well for this. ~ a minute or two, friend will check out the flakes start to sink, other than in the center—over the fire they will start to walk up.

This process of convection wake up everywhere, native the pot on your kitchen range to cloud formations in the skies to the substantial stretches of open up ocean. It’s essential to know the take-home message: This procedure is essentially the exact same under all conditions. As soon as heated, molecules move faster, and also so they take up more space, and therefore room less dense than their cooler neighbors.

Convection method Under Ground

Image by Harroschmeling CC-BY-3This number is a snapshot of one time-step in a model of the earth’s mantle convection. Colour closer to red are warm areas, and also colors closer to blue are cold areas. In this figure, warmth received at the core-mantle boundary outcomes in thermal development of the material at the bottom the the model, to reduce its density and causing it to send plumes of hot material upwards. Likewise, cooling of product at the surface outcomes in that is sinking.

Everyday understanding – Convection Ovens

In a convection oven, a fan circulates air, keeping the temperature inside the oven much more even. Let’s say you put a casserole native the refrigerator right into a consistent oven. The cold casserole will keep a slim layer of cold (or cooler) air about itself because that a lengthy time, also though the rest of the cooktop is relatively much warmer. If the very same casserole is placed into a convection oven, the oven’s pan constantly blows the wait around, disrupting the layer the cooler air about the casserole, and allowing hot air come come in contact with the food. This is why convection ovens commonly cook food much faster or in ~ a reduced temperature 보다 do continual ovens.

Everyday understanding – The Difference between Soup & Stew

The procedure of convection likewise factors in come why that is more important to generally stir a pot of stew food preparation on the cooktop than that is to stir a pot of soup. Soup, being reasonably thin and liquid-y, have the right to rely on herbal convection moved by transforms in density to move the miscellaneous molecules around. Stew, being a more thickness mixture that solids and liquids, cannot relocate as easily. The molecules at the bottom of the pot cannot quickly rise, and also so those ~ above the height cannot sink. The results have the right to be a scorched bottom layer, and also a cold peak layer the stew.

See more: What Did Hamilton Fear Would Happen, Hamilton And The Us Constitution


Karla Talanian earn her level in chemistry from smith College, and an M.S. In biotechnology indigenous Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She worked for several years in the biotechnology industry. A mom of three (now grown) children, she spent plenty of years volunteering in their classrooms and helping with homework. Along the way, she tried come teach the relationship of scientific facts to everyday life through the usage of analogies and also everyday examples. Karla is now the administrator the a private math school, and also teaches algebra to elementary college children. She is always amazed at just how qualified children are at expertise mathematical concepts. As a teacher, she do the efforts to interact her students’ interest by to teach why they have to solve one equation in a particular way, not just how to solve it. When she’s not teaching or writing, Karla enjoys biking, hiking, and kayaking through her husband.