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Another important example of the combination of phase change and convection occurs when water evaporates from the oceans. Heat is removed from the ocean when water evaporates. If the water vapor condenses in liquid droplets as clouds form, possibly far from the ocean, heat is released in the atmosphere. Thus, there is an overall transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. This process is the driving power behind thunderheads, those great cumulus clouds that rise as much as 20.0 km into the stratosphere ( [link] ). Water vapor carried in by convection condenses, releasing tremendous amounts of energy. This energy causes the air to expand and rise to colder altitudes. More condensation occurs in these regions, which in turn drives the cloud even higher. This mechanism is an example of positive feedback, since the process reinforces and accelerates itself. It sometimes produces violent storms, with lightning and hail. The same mechanism drives hurricanes.

This time-lapse video shows convection currents in a thunderstorm, including “rolling” motion similar to that of boiling water.

Photograph of a cumulus cloud.
Cumulus clouds are caused by water vapor that rises because of convection. The rise of clouds is driven by a positive feedback mechanism. (credit: “Amada44”/Wikimedia Commons)

Check Your Understanding Explain why using a fan in the summer feels refreshing.

Using a fan increases the flow of air: Warm air near your body is replaced by cooler air from elsewhere. Convection increases the rate of heat transfer so that moving air “feels” cooler than still air.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!


You can feel the heat transfer from the Sun. The space between Earth and the Sun is largely empty, so the Sun warms us without any possibility of heat transfer by convection or conduction. Similarly, you can sometimes tell that the oven is hot without touching its door or looking inside—it may just warm you as you walk by. In these examples, heat is transferred by radiation ( [link] ). That is, the hot body emits electromagnetic waves that are absorbed by the skin. No medium is required for electromagnetic waves to propagate. Different names are used for electromagnetic waves of different wavelengths: radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, and gamma rays.

Photograph of fire.
Most of the heat transfer from this fire to the observers occurs through infrared radiation. The visible light, although dramatic, transfers relatively little thermal energy. Convection transfers energy away from the observers as hot air rises, while conduction is negligibly slow here. Skin is very sensitive to infrared radiation, so you can sense the presence of a fire without looking at it directly. (credit: Daniel O’Neil)

The energy of electromagnetic radiation varies over a wide range, depending on the wavelength: A shorter wavelength (or higher frequency) corresponds to a higher energy. Because more heat is radiated at higher temperatures, higher temperatures produce more intensity at every wavelength but especially at shorter wavelengths. In visible light, wavelength determines color—red has the longest wavelength and violet the shortest—so a temperature change is accompanied by a color change. For example, an electric heating element on a stove glows from red to orange, while the higher-temperature steel in a blast furnace glows from yellow to white. Infrared radiation is the predominant form radiated by objects cooler than the electric element and the steel. The radiated energy as a function of wavelength depends on its intensity, which is represented in [link] by the height of the distribution. ( Electromagnetic Waves explains more about the electromagnetic spectrum, and Photons and Matter Waves discusses why the decrease in wavelength corresponds to an increase in energy.)

Questions & Answers

please I don't understand the solution of the first example as in d working
habila Reply
what's the question? Write it here.
a cold body of 100°C and a hot body is of 100°F . Transfer heat = ?
jagan Reply
you are given two metal spheres mounted on portable insulating support. Find a way to give them equal and opposite charges. you may use a glass rod rubbed with silk but may not touch it to the spheres. Do the spheres have to be of equal size for your method to work?
Rai Reply
in the 2nd example, for chapter 8.2 on page 3/3, I don't understand where the value 48uC comes from, I just couldn't get that value in my calculator.
Anita Reply
are you talking about the capacitance combination problem
please write the problem or send a snap of th page....I don't have the book in my vicinity.
what is electromagnetic force. do electric and magnetic force happen differently
Short Reply
derived the electric potential due to disk of charge
aron Reply
how can we derived potential electric due to the disk
how can you derived electric potential of a disk
how can you derived electric potential due to disk
where is response?
what is difference between heat and temperature?
Qasim Reply
temperature is the measure of degree of hotness or coldness. on the other hand, heat is the form of energy, which causes temperature. So we can safely say, heat is the reason and temperature is its consequence.
how many liquid metals do we have
Jeffery Reply
do we have gasses as metals
who knows should please tell us
yes...gallium & cesium
Hg is liquid. No metal gasses at standard temp and pressure
I don't ever understand any of this formulae
isaac Reply
which formula
How to determine a temperature scale
Masia Reply
what is the formula for absolute error
define kelvin planck statement
Masia Reply
using p-v diagram, explain what takes place during each four processes of a carnot cycle
using p-v diagram, explain what takes place during each four processes of a carnot cycle
state zeroths law of thermodynamics
Masia Reply
The zeroth law of thermodynamics states that if twothermodynamic systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third one, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other
zeroth law of thermodynamic state that when a body A and B are in thermal equilibrium to body C ,a state is attained when body A,B and C are in thermal equilibrium.
sorry guys I got no any idea on the law can someone help me please?
The zeroth law of thermodynamics states that if two thermodynamic systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third one, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. Accordingly, thermal equilibrium between systems is a transitive relation. Two systems are said to be in the relation of
I can help u Snahr as possible
it simply states that, if two bodies are separately in thermal equilibrium with a third body, then those two bodies will also be in thermal equilibrium with each other
What mass of steam of 100 degree celcius must be mixed with 150g of ice at 0 degree celcius, in a thermally insulated container, to produce liquid water at 50 degree celcius
Emmanuel Reply
sorry I dont know
thank you
What is the pressure?
To convert 0°C ice to 0°c water. Q=M*s=150g*334J/g=50100 J.......... Now 0° water to 50° water... Q=M*s*dt=150g*4.186J/g*50= 31395 J....... Which adds upto 81495 J..... This is amount of heat the steam has to carry. 81495= M *s=M*2230J/g..therefore.....M=36.54g of steam
This is at 1 atm
If there is change in pressure u can refer to the steam table ....
instrument for measuring highest temperature of a body is?
brian Reply
how does beryllium decay occur
Sandy Reply
Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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