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Convection Definition

Convection transfers thermal energy through fluid circulation. For example, heated water rises as cooler water moves to replace it.

View Lesson on Heat: Transfer of Thermal Energy
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Heat: Transfer of Thermal Energy

Fun Facts

  • Heating air causes it to rise, then cool and sink, forming a convection current.
  • Water at the bottom of a pot rises when heated by convection, then sinks as it cools.
  • Convection is used in heating homes by causing air near heaters to circulate.

Why Do We Need To Know About Convection

Learning about convection helps us know how heat moves around us and is important for making things like heaters work better. Knowing about convection can lead to jobs in designing air conditioning and heating systems.

Convection is key for making new, energy-saving technologies, better ways to cook, and fun stuff like hot air balloons. So, convection is really useful in many areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between heat and thermal energy?
Thermal energy is the energy contained within a system due to the motion of the particles. Heat is the transfer of thermal energy from a warmer system/object to a cooler system/object.
When the temperature of an object decreases, what has happened?
The particles (atoms/molecules) that make up that object are moving slower. Heat has been transferred from the object to its surroundings or to another object.
What factors determine the thermal properties of a material?
The amount of material (mass) and its composition (what it’s made of).
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