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Difference Between Conduction, Convection And Radiation

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Thermal energy travels from one location to another during heat transmission. All matter transfers heat because atoms and molecules have dynamic and thermal energy by nature. Heat transfer is the flow of heat as a result of a temperature differential between a system and its surroundings. Temperature and heat movement are the basic principles of heat transfer. There are three different kinds of heat transfer depending on the type of medium used to convey heat that is: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation. Conduction is the direct transmission of heat energy and convection is the movement of heat caused by the actual movement of matter, while radiation is the transfer of energy using electromagnetic waves.

Difference Between Conduction, Convection And Radiation


What is Conduction?

In solid objects, there is a form of heat transmission called conduction. It can be explained as a process in which heat is transferred directly from one molecule to another; the molecules do not inherently move, just vibrate more or less rapidly against one another. Conduction is a longer process than convection or radiation because it needs molecules to come into contact with one another. Energy-dense atoms and molecules collide with other particles more frequently and have more dynamic energy. They’re “hot.” A small amount of energy is transmitted during the collision of hot and cool substances and then conduction is driven out. 


  • Heating a pan on the burner. 
  • When you iron clothes, the fiber receives heat from the iron. 
  • Water is heated by being inserted with a hot drive of iron. 
  • Getting in touch with a steaming coffee cup. 
  • Your palm is being cooled by ice.

What is Convection?

Convection is the transfer of heat from one place to another made possible by the flow of fluids or liquids, and it happens in both liquids and gases. Fluid expands and loses density when it is heated. As it moves upward, the heated fluid pushes down towards the heat source, separating the cold fluid that was above it. Fluid will constantly move from a region of high heat to low heat as the cold fluid warms up and rises upward. 


  • Using a burner to heat water. 
  • Land and sea breeze 
  • In contrast to an oven that only uses heating components or a gas flame, a convection oven circulates heated air while cooking more equally.
  • Warm air rises, cools, and lowers. 
  • Ice melting.

What is Radiation?

Both convection and conduction require a means of transport to transmit heat. In comparison, radiation is a form of heat transfer in which no physical contact is made between the two things. Radiation is the name given to the heat transmission process in which a medium of transport is not necessary. Since heat does not pass through molecules, it alludes to the movement of heat in waves. Heat can be transferred between objects without them coming into close touch. This method of moving heat involves electromagnetic radiation. 


  • Heat is radiated into an area by fireplaces.
  • Your skin is being warmed by the sun’s radiation. 
  • the comfort you experience close to a bonfire or stove. 
  • The light that an incandescent bulb produces. 
  • The thermal energy in food is increased by the microwave radiation that a microwave cooker produces.

Difference Between Conduction, Convection, and Radiation

Basis of Comparison




DefinitionConduction is a procedure where heat is transferred between objects through physical contact.Convection is the type of heat transmission where there is an energy transform within the fluid. Radiation refers to the process by which heat is transferred between things without direct physical touch. 
Heat transferA body or item with a high temperature will transmit heat to one with a low temperature. A low-density region transmits heat to a high-density location. Atoms and compounds transmit energy through their spinning and vibrational motions. 
Speed of heat transfer Slow as compared to convection and radiation. Faster than conduction but slower than radiation. Fastest as compared to conduction and convection. 
Temperature effect Continues until both items’ temperatures are the same. This heat transfer continues as long as there is a temperature differential.As long as there is energy to emit, the transmission continues.
Occurs through Heat solids. Fluids or liquids or gases. Electromagnetic wave
CauseDue to a temperature change.  Due to differences in density.All things produce this phenomenon when the temperature exceeds 0 K.
Law of reflection and refraction.Doesn’t follow. Doesn’t follow. It follows. 
Factors influencingTemperature and kinetic energy. The density of fluids. Temperature. 
Example Heating a pan on the burner. Ice melting. The light that an incandescent bulb produces.  

Last Updated : 07 Nov, 2023
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