Education Resources
Computer Modeling
Playing the "What if?" Game
Scientists use computer models to help understand and predict how convection works under different circumstances. The model consists of equations that describe how a fluid moves. These equations describe properties of the fluid and how it's being heated. For example, the a thick fluid will move differently than a thin fluid, even when they're heated the same way. Computer models allow scientist to change the properties of a fluid and see how it reacts differently. Scientists can play a "what if?" game, determining how the convection currents will change when the fluid or conditions change.