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The heat from the burners causes the air inside a hot air balloon to become less dense.

# Physics - Conduction and Convection

This Physics quiz is called 'Physics - Conduction and Convection' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at senior high school. Playing educational quizzes is one of the most efficienct ways to learn if you are in the 11th or 12th grade - aged 16 to 18.

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Heat is thermal energy. It only ever travels in one direction - from warmer to cooler. You may have heard people say 'close the door to keep the cold out' but they really should be saying 'close the door to keep the warmth in'. Heat travels in 3 ways, but this quiz is concerned with only two of them - conduction and convection, which both involve the movement of particles.

Heat energy can move through any solid by conduction. Metals are usually good conductors of heat but liquids, gasses and solids made mainly from non-metals are usually poor heat conductors. Poor conductors of heat are called 'insulators'.

Thermal energy is transferred from the hot end of a solid to the cold end. In metals, this process is very efficient because the particles are very closely packed and there are free electrons in the structure. In materials made mainly from non-metallic elements there are no free electrons and the atoms are fixed in place differently, so the heat doesn't get passed on as easily.

Heat is transferred through liquids and gasses (fluids) by convection. The particles of fluids are free to change places. When heated, there is more kinetic energy in the particles so they move around more than they did before they were heated. Because they are moving faster, they are further apart which means there are fewer particles in each cm3 - the fluid is therefore less dense. As you know, less dense things float to the top in fluids. The heated part of the fluid rises to the top and cooler fluid moves in to take its place. This is called a convection current and, as it circulates, heat is spread through the entire fluid.

1.
Houses built with thick stone walls usually stay cooler inside during the summer than houses built with thinner brick walls. Why might this be?
Conduction is slower through the thicker walls
No convection can occur through the thicker walls
No conduction can occur through the thicker walls
The clay used to make bricks always contains some impurities that make it a better conductor of heat than stone
This question is testing if you know that one of the factors affecting conduction is the thickness
2.
Why do hot air ballons rise?
The flames from the burner are going upwards and they push the balloon into the air
The helium they contain is lighter than air
The heat from the burners causes the air inside to become less dense
They only rise because the pilot throws out some weight from the basket
Less dense air will rise, exactly as in a convection current. Because it is trapped in the balloon, the balloon goes with it
3.
"Particles with more energy move in to take the place of particles with less energy"
What method of heat transfer is being described in the previous sentence?
Sublimation
Conduction
Convection
Whenever you see a question that deals with heat transfer by moving particles it has to be convection
4.
Thunderstorms are created by which form(s) of energy transfer in the atmosphere?
Convection
Evaporation and conduction
Thunderstorms are created when large amounts of hot moist air rise through the atmosphere. As the moist air rises it cools and the moisture condenses to form rain. The size and speed of movement in this enormous convection current creates high winds and static electricity sparks which you see as lightning
5.
What is the main way that heat passes through a brick in the wall of a building?
Convection
Conduction
All of the above
A brick is an opaque solid so the only way heat can pass through it is by conduction
6.
On a sunny day, why is it slightly harder to swim back to the shore of a lake than to swim towards the center?
The sun makes the water at the edge of the lake expand more than at the center so you are swimming uphill
The sun heats shallow water at the edge faster than the deep water, creating a convection current that flows towards the center
You are more tired because you have already swum out to the center of the lake
There is no difference
Since water is transparent the sun can't heat it directly. At the edge, it heats the bed of the lake since the water is shallow. The warmth of the lake bed transfers heat to the water, making it less dense. The less dense water rises, creating a convection current that flows away from the shore. A strong swimmer would probably not notice the difference
7.
Why are metals good heat conductors?
They are shiny and solid
Their particles are far apart
Their particles are packed close together
They are malleable and ductile
As well as having close packed particles, the free electrons in their structure can transport the heat energy through the metal
8.
Which state(s) of matter is (or are) fluids?
Solids and liquids
Liquids only
Liquids and gasses
Gasses only
Fluids are substances that can flow
9.
In what substances can convection occur?
Solids
Only liquids
Liquids and gasses
Only gasses
Convection occurs in any fluid
10.
How does extra heat affect the particles of a metal?
It makes them vibrate faster
It makes them move around more and change places, reducing its density
It slows down the movement of the particles
It melts them
The particles of any solid are fixed in place so the increased energy available from the heat makes them vibrate more vigorously
Author:  Kev Woodward