Heat may be transferred from one substance to another by three means—conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction involves the transfer of energy from one molecule to adjacent molecules without the substance as a whole moving. Convection involves the movement of warmer parts of a substance away from the source of heat and takes place only in fluids, i.e., liquids and gases. Radiation is the transfer of heat energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, principally in the infrared radiation portion of the spectrum.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.