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Detection Training

Scent Cones and How Scent Moves

By Dondi Hydrick

How much do you really know and understand about scent? How and why does it act in the manner it does? Why does it travel to certain areas, and how and why do hot and cold temperatures affect it? We all know that hot air rises and cold air sinks, and that this is what happens to scent. But do you really understand why and what causes this to happen? Do you really know what a scent cone looks like?

Let’s start with why hot air rises and cold air sinks. This will open the door for how and why temperature affects scent, and not just in the manner it moves. First, we must understand what the kinetic theory of matter is and how it applies. The main points of this theory are: (1) all matter consists of molecules and atoms; (2) these molecules and atoms are constantly in motion; and (3) as the temperature increases, the speed of the particles, and therefore the energy of the matter, increases.

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