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Does hot air move into cold air or does cold air move hot air?

Craig Stewart

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Ralph Lopez on October 18, 2019

Both. Heating and cooling in accordance with the energy gained and lost on a quantum to molecular scale (smaller than an atom to the molecules), where the wavelength in this case infrared or largest decides how "hot" of an atom. In the case of currents of air on a planet in the act of heat of the energy source is infrared energy, the wavelength of this energy causes atoms and molecules to vibrate, this vibration leads to friction of the particles causes heat (by the way that microwaves cause molecules to rotate and our microwave ovens are set at a level of energy that causes the water molecules to rotate by that heating something that has no water in it (literally no water molecules) to not heat. When cold air is heated it expands as the atoms and molecules bump into each other causing friction, raise the temperature and pressure of the air, the pressure and temperature are directly related so as temperature increases so does pressure, and because hot air is less dense than the air it rises. The rate is determined, in part, by the amount of energy that is added, as it gets more and more from the source of energy of the atoms and molecules begin to lose energy and emit energy to its surroundings get less and less excited. Rather than solve that collide with each other less and less, and the low air pressure and the temperature with it, as well as the air since cold air sinks due to cold air being more dense than the hot. All of this can be explained much more simply, if you choose, by the acceptance that this process is asking about is called convection, and none of the air is always stopped because the cycle never stops meaning that hot air moves toward cold and cold air is moving into hot, on any scale, but when you look on the air currents these are what the cells of Hadley, mid-Latitude cells, and Polar cells. The amount of energy from the sun, turned off the earth in the form of infrared light (heat) is greatest at the equator and gets weaker the closer to the poles you are. Starting at the Equator the air is heated and rises then due to gravity and cooling it hits a ceiling where it begins to move in the colder air of the higher latitudes. With the weather (around 30 degrees latitude North and South), cools, sinks and moves back through the Earth to the Equator, where it has absorbed most of the energy begins the cycle again. The mid-latitude of the cells operate in the opposite direction of the Hadley cells, so that the fall of cold air around 30 degrees N&S with their hot air rising around 60 degrees N & S. The Polar cells operate in the opposite direction from the mid-latitude cell with air rising around 60 N&S and the fall in the Poles. There you go to macro and micro, hope this helps


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