In this video, Paul Cook demonstrates how to perform a simple but captivating experiment as we explore the fascinating world of convection using just a tea bag and a lighter. Watch as we uncover the principles behind heat transfer and the movement of air in this simple yet mesmerising demonstration.
Convection is a heat transfer process that occurs when warmer, less dense fluids or gases rise and cooler, denser fluids or gases sink, creating a continuous circulation of heat. You can demonstrate convection using a tea bag and a lighter by performing a simple experiment involving the heating of air.
Typically, in a GCSE convection practical experiment, students might use items like tea bags, as mentioned earlier, or other materials like beakers of water and food coloring, to visually observe convection currents. The goal is to help students understand the basic principles of convection and its application in everyday situations, such as the circulation of air in a room or the movement of fluids in a heating system.
In this experiment, we begin by lighting the tea bag and observing the direction of the rising smoke. As the tea bag burns, you’ll witness a powerful example of convection in action.
You will need:
All health and safety measures are the responsibility of the teacher doing the demonstration. A thorough risk assessment should be carried out and guidance procedures followed. It is suggested that you practice before demonstration in front of a class.
This simple experiment with a tea bag and a lighter illustrates the concept of convection, which is a fundamental process in the movement of heat in fluids and gases. It helps you understand how warm air rises and cooler air sinks, leading to the circulation of air currents in various natural phenomena.
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