Energy from hot cocoa melts a marshmallow placed in it what is it?
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Asked in Energy
What is it when energy from hot cocoa melts a marshmallow placed in it?
This is convection. Convection is the effect you get when hotter parts expand and have lower density than cooler parts. What you describe is "melting", with the temperature of the surrounding liquid being higher than the temperature of the marshmallow. So, heat flows from the hotter region to the cooler by conduction and eventually the temperature reaches the melting point. I'd suggest re-arranging that. Conduction transfers the cocoa's heat into the marshmallow, cooling the liquid in doing so. Convection helps to maintain the process by replacing the cooled cocoa with hot. When you place any chocolate in any fluid at a higher temperature than the melting point of chocolate, the chocolate will melt. Likea lump of ice in warm water. Convection playsno role at all- if you prevent convection by packing the fluid with small pebbles etc, the marshmellow will still melt. The heat is transferred by conduction, not convection.