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Overview         (For age - group : Above 16 )

Convection current in air or water can carry heat away from the hot source towards a cooler source. The sources could be separated by fraction of meter in case of air pockets in warm clothing or by kilometers in case of land sea breeze. This animated physics topic shows the mechanism of convection.

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Category : Science
Type : Animation

Convection currents :
The interactive e-learning animation
details case by case explanation
How land and sea breeze are formed?
Why the freezing unit is always fitted at the top of the refrigerator?
Why air conditioners are never installed near the floor of a room?
Why ventilators in the room are provided near the ceiling?
Why factories are fitted with chimneys?


Explanatory Notes contain :
What is convection?
Why convection current established in fluid?
Why water has a much higher heat capacity than that of land?

Snapshots         
land breeze
sea breeze
In the night land is at lower temperature than sea hence a breeze blows in In the day land is at higher temperature than sea hence a breeze blows out
why ventilators are provided near the roof
freezing unit in a refrigerator always at top
Ventilator at the top of the room lets hot air out
Freezer is always at the top in a refrigerator
chimneys are provided in factories
air conditioner units are not installed near floor
Chimneys are provided in factories for letting out flue gases
Air conditioner units are not installed near the floor
Details of the animation/ movie /software

An important example of convection currents that can be interpreted in this manner is the creation of breezes over land masses next to large bodies of water. Thus, during the day the air above the water will be cooler than that over the land.

This creates a low pressure area over the land, relative to the high pressure area over the water, and subsequently one finds breezes blowing from the water to the land.

On the other hand, during the night water cools off more slowly than the land, and the air above the water is slightly warmer than over the land. This creates a low pressure area over the water relative to the high pressure area over the land, and breezes will blow from the land to the water. Places near the sea have pleasant and moderate climates because of the occurrence of land breezes and sea breezes.

Land breeze: the cold air blowing from the land towards the sea during night is called land breeze. Land being a good absorber is also a good radiator . Thus during the night , the land loses more heat by radiation. The specific heat capacity of land being lower than that of water, its temperatures in the early hours of the morning are lower than that of the sea. The air above the sea being warmer , expands, rises up and convection currents of cold air flow from the land towards the sea, forming land breezes.


Sea breezes:during day time , land becomes more heated than the sea . In the evening , air above the land, being more heated, expands, rises up and the colder air from above the sea surface blows towards the land to take its place. This sets up he convection currents which forms the sea breeze.

This would explain why:

  • The freezing unit is fitted to the top of the refrigerator
  • It is fallacious to install air conditioners near the floor
  • Ventilators in the room are provided near the ceiling
  • Factories are fitted with chimneys

More of this in the animation

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