Hot plates are used in science to heat glassware in a laboratory setting. Sophisticated hot plates can also keep the glassware's contents moving automatically, using a magnetic stirrer.
A hot plate is a portable, low-cost heat source. This allows students and scientists to perform thermal physics experiments such as testing the change of water's state of matter. Many science experiments require boiling water, which demands a readily available heat source.
Temperature affects how molecules move, which is why a heat source is an important variable. Heat can also turn liquid into gas. Observing the differences between a solid, liquid or gas is possible through the use of a hot plate.