I keep hearing people saying that air rises because it is low pressure and that's what causes clouds to be formed. But, isn't hot, rising air high pressure? It's got fast moving atoms in it and that may mean that there are more collisions between the particles right? Shouldn't that mean that rising air is high pressure?

  • $\begingroup$ When air is rising it is inducing the air around it to flow into the area under it, due to the resulting lower density. This flow of air is what reduces the pressure. $\endgroup$
    – Natecat
    Nov 13, 2021 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ Here is a more in depth explanation of it physics.stackexchange.com/a/288567/135986 $\endgroup$
    – Natecat
    Nov 13, 2021 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


The hot air has the same pressure as the surrounding cold air. However, this pressure is created by a smaller number of faster moving molecules, hence hot air has smaller mass and rises according to the Archimedes law. In other words, the same number of molecules of hot air take larger volume.

On the other hand, if we had air confined in a rigid volume (like a pressure cooker) and heated it, its mass and volume would be constant, but pressure would be higher.

This is the difference between and isobaric vs. isochoric processes (constant preassure vs. constant volume).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.