Main Convection Schmonvection Discussion

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12:31:23 PM Dec 27th 2017

    Real Life 
  • Kids are familiar with this trope from a very early age. They will often pretend that the floor is "hot lava," the point of the game being to move around the room without touching the floor. This game is familiar enough to have been referenced on an early Grounded for Life and a vacation episode of The Simpsons as well as the nudist episode of Family Guy, and a mission in a Tony Hawk game.
  • In older aluminum plants, the metal is still poured partly by employees who work very close to 1300-1700°F aluminum — often as close as a foot or less distance between the worker and the aluminum. Dross is skimmed from the tops of crucibles and molds with hand-held metal skimmers. The workers wear heavy cotton gloves, double cotton sleeves and aluminized aprons to do this. While it is not the most comfortable job in the world, the protective gear does not singe or burn unless in direct contact with the metal, and the cotton is not fire retardant. The most important bit of safety gear: a sort of awning over the tops of your boots. Molten Aluminum can run down denim, barely scorching it (ironically, its convection acts on the water vapor to act as a temporary force-field), but bad things happen if it gets in your boots and it can't flow anywhere else.
  • Played pretty darn straight by the experience of Heimaey, Iceland, in the Vestmannaeyjar islands. In 1973, a nearby mountain erupted, sending acres of lava towards the town — and, from the inhabitants' perspective, more importantly, the harbor. In a desperate attempt to save the harbor from being filled by lava, the inhabitants, the government of Iceland, and, eventually, even the U.S. Navy, started pouring water directly on the lava to try and solidify the leading edge, hopefully sending the remaining lava somewhere else. This took weeks, if not months, and for most of that time, not only were people walking directly on top of the lava, they were separated from actual liquid rock by, at times, nothing but ash, but they were running hoses along it, and driving bulldozers around on top of it. The treads of the bulldozers blued from the heat over time, and the soles of boots tended to melt when people stood, but for a significant amount of time, people were not only running near lava, they were working on top of it for twenty-hour-a-day stretches. Icelanders are hardcore. Humorously referred on this Scandinavia And The World comic.
  • Not averted in weightlessness, contrary to common belief. While it's true that there is no natural convection caused by density gradients, you still need to recycle your air — this means airflows. Also anything else moving (like a person) would set up eddies. For this reason it is possible to have a candle burning in a space station without any tricks.
  • This guy:
  • Lava planets. 'Nuff said. Some planets, too, like CoRoT-7b, being very close to their stars, may be so hot that not only they have lava oceans, but their lava could have water-like viscosity, so talking about "lava oceans" is even more meaningful.
  • Red dwarf stars as well as the much larger red giant and red supergiant stars take convection Up to Eleven, the former being entirely convective and the latter having a handful of big and deep convection cells covering them (much unlike Sun-like stars, where there're millions of these, but small in size and depth), that would give red giant and supergiant stars a distorted shape very different of what one sees on most artistic depictions, looking as if they were boiling.
  • A healthy human being, if provided with heat-resistant footwear, can walk into an industrial-sized oven and remain there for several minutes without harm. They'll sweat like a pig, but so long as they don't get too dehydrated to perspire, they can stand there alongside baking bread or roasting meat, and shed the heat that's cooking their lunch. Way to go, homeostasis!

This trope is about a break from reality, so reality can't have examples of the trope.
12:34:59 PM Dec 27th 2017
edited by Larkmarn
The "the floor is lava" example can probably be moved to... uh... a "Playground Games" folder? It's definitely an example of this trope and isn't actually a Real Life example so it belongs on this page, but I don't think any of our regular namespaces really work.

... maybe technically Live Action Role Playing, strictly speaking, but... yeah.
11:46:35 AM Jul 23rd 2015
Way too much negativity and complaining in this page. There should be a hidden message remindign tropers that Tropes Are Not Bad.
12:58:48 PM Oct 18th 2014
I think that this is mostly a video game trope, SO I think video game examples should be limited to notable ones (aversions or egregious, like Super Mario Bros 1).
01:31:47 PM Oct 18th 2014
It's not mostly a video game trope, really. Also, I don't see a problem with the number of examples.
02:53:17 AM Feb 24th 2014
I was wondering, does this also extend to giant pools of acid? As in, would they cause a similar problem as well in real life?
01:31:13 AM Mar 17th 2012
Should we add lack of toxic volcanic gas to this trope? because they usually go hand in hand.
10:39:52 PM Oct 12th 2011
Something that's bugged me, in some games you can walk near lava and of course convection isn't in effect or whatnot but.. For example, in Final Fantasy 1 STEPPING in Lava does 1hp damage, so couldn't it be argued that if actual contact with the lava does minimal damage, convection alone isn't enough to harm them?
02:19:17 PM Aug 23rd 2011
edited by ZenimaxShakespere
Wasn't sure where to put this as it references multiple tropes, so I'm cross-posting it to all three! Ha HA!

Edit: no hotlinked images? Fine:
09:52:55 PM Jul 30th 2011
This is going to sound kind of stupid, but does anyone mid if I add "Fuck You, Convection" As an alternate title? It's a personal meme.
11:38:37 AM Jul 22nd 2011
This XKCD comic does something with this trope, but I'm not sure what. It's not subversion, it's not inversion, it's not...
09:33:02 AM Jan 17th 2011
Should we mention examples from The Legend of Zelda? I remember that this trope was subverted in Ocarina of Time (the Goron Tunic was needed to access hot places), but played straight in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. I'm sure there's other examples in the series though.
03:24:19 PM Oct 15th 2010
If you didn't see Top Gear's last season,

Toyota Hi Lux Invincible Arctic Trucks mod + some more mods = Volcano Proof Toyota :P
12:15:07 PM Jul 31st 2010
Can we make Overpressure? What Overpressure? an alternate title for this trope?
09:42:48 AM Jun 9th 2010
edited by stm177
Moved natter here from Demolition Man (discussing whether a match can light gasoline):

  • The Mythbusters have shown that, as long as you've not mistaken it for diesel, it's very difficult to ignite petrol/gasoline.
  • With a match or cigarette. A blowtorch is a tad bit hotter.
  • What's more, it's the gasoline itself that's difficult to catch fire, not the fumes. If you drop a match into gasoline it passes through the fumes and extinguishes, but lowering the flame slowly will ignite the surface with a fire that isn't actually that hot. The blowtorch certainly would've lit the fumes, but it wouldn't have been any more dangerous than a can of Sterno, giving a real life example of this trope.
02:16:56 PM Aug 23rd 2011
But in any case, you're begging for a Darwin Award if you try and prove this either way.
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