Convection Currents Made Easy

When component of fluid or gas is warmed it increases as well as comes to be much less thick. The warmer, much less thick fluid climbs upwards as well as cooler fluid is up to take its location. This cycle of a fluid or gas rising as well as dropping is called a convection existing

We established an extremely basic convection existing presentation utilizing cold and hot water with food colouring to reveal the motion of cozy water with cool water.

Convection Current Presentation

You’ll require

High glass or flower holder

A smaller sized glass or mug

Warm water

Cold water

Food colouring


Fill up the high glass or container with cool water.

Fill up the smaller sized container with warm (yet not boiling water) as well as include a couple of decreases of food colouring.

Meticulously position the tiny container right into the container with the cool water.

View what takes place to the warmer, coloured water.

The warm, tinted water climbs upwards as well as accumulates on top of the cool water. It after that cools down as well as sinks down. Ultimately all the water will certainly coincide temperature level.

Exactly how does convection job?

Particles of cozy water relocate faster as well as expanded. They climb upwards with denser cooler water which sinks to the base where it heats up. Ultimately all the fluid coincides temperature level.

The cozy water climbs as when fluids as well as gases are warmed they broaden. This indicates they occupy even more area yet have the very same mass so their thickness is much less than when they are trendy. Compounds with reduced thickness drift on materials with greater thickness.

Diagram showing water heating in a pan and the direction of heating. Warmer water rises, cooler water falls to take its place. This cooler water is then heated and rises.
Convection existing in warmed water

Ask a grown-up to assist with this task

Additional Obstacle

Repeat the task with cool water rather than warm as well as see what takes place to the coloured water.

cold water in cold water for a science experiment about convection currents

You can see that the cool water isn’t relocating upwards like the cozy water.

Exactly how is warm moved?

Warm can be moved in 3 various means. Transmission, convection as well as radiation


Transmission of warm takes place when shaking bits pass any type of added vibrational power to neighboring bits. The even more power the bits have, the hotter the item obtains. An instance of this sort of warm transfer is when steel frying pans are warmed on a hob. Warm takes a trip with the frying pan. If the frying pan manage is additionally steel, it will certainly fume as well. This is why steel frying pans commonly have plastic or wood treatments on their manages. Plastic as well as steel are bad conductors of warm.


Convection of warm is when warmer particles of a fluid or gas relocation from a warmer to a cooler location taking the warm with them.

Water being warmed in a frying pan is an instance of convection. This is the sort of warm transfer we showed over.


Radiation of warm is when warm is emitted to the surrounding location by warm front. Fragments are not associated with this type of warm transfer.

Warm from the sunlight taking a trip with room is an instance of warm transfer by radiation. This sort of warm is moved by waves.

Diagram showing convection, conduction and radiation with the example of a camp fire
Layout revealing transmission, convection as well as transmission

In the campfire as well as frying pan instance most of all 3 sort of warm transfer can be seen.

Warm passes by radiation from the camp fire to the steel frying pan. Warm takes a trip with the steel of the frying pan by transmission to warm up the reduced layers of water. The water is after that warmed by convection as the much less thick warmer water climbs with the colder water to produce a convection existing!

Keep in mind– warm is just moved exists is a temperature level distinction.

Scientific research principles

  • Thickness
  • Transmission
  • Convection
  • Radiation
  • Warm transfer
An image of red warm water rising through cold water and blue coloured cold water not rising through cold water for a convection current science activity

Last Upgraded on June 14, 2022 by Emma Vanstone

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