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When part of a fluid is heated, its volume increases and its density decreases. The hot fluid moves upwards, pushing the denser, cooler regions of the fluid downward. This phenomenon is known as convection. In the experiment shown, two ends of a pipe stick up at different heights in a container full of water. A Bunsen burner heats the water, causing a cyclic flow through the system.
Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Wolfram Demonstrations Project
Published: March 7 2011