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Physics Story: Conduction, Convection, Radiation


Three men of curious names: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation were hiking on a snow covered mountain. It was a dreadfully cold afternoon and the trio was collaborating amongst themselves on the best methods by which to warm up; that is to say…acquire heat energy from another source.

Conduction felt that heat was a very touchy subject, and elected to handle the issue directly.

Convection preferred to waft and drift with the conversation, let the ideas flow to him; as is the naturally tendency of things.

Radiation demanded that no physical contact was necessary whatsoever. He reminded that the most familiar (and therefore best) transfer of heat is in its pure form: direct from the sun -through the vast emptiness of space- and with no middle medium to speak of.

Enveloped in conversation, the three men had scarcely noticed a cabin in the distance.

“I see a fire inside,” Radiation ejected abruptly.

“Yes, smoke is rising from the chimney,” Convection expanded.

“I feel we’ve been touched with luck,” Conduction transferred directly – grabbing the
attention of the others.

The three entered the freshly deserted cabin. They asked their “hellos,” then began to
remove their snow-laden attire. It was good to be out of the cold.

The heat of the fire was ample energy for all – and each decided to be warmed in their own way:

Radiation sat in the back of the room, wisely letting the glow come to him.

Convection put his hands about one half-meter above the flames;
cleverly realizing that - since heated air rises - the area above the fire would
logically be warmest.

Conduction wasted no time with such trivial matters. He stepped right up,
gripped a mound of smoky orange embers, and singed the cold from his hands.

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James J. Lincoln
Lincoln305@lycos.com
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