How does a dome shape influence the heat retention and “heating evenness” of a brick oven?



I’ve been looking into brick oven design, and the dome shape is motivated for two reasons: (1) “Retains heat efficiently,” and (2) “Reflects heat evenly”.

I’m confused about both of these things, since I’d expect the bricks (not air) to be primarily “storing” the heat, and because I have no idea what it means to “reflect heat,” let alone evenly. Any explanation would be really helpful.

A related question is basically, “why couldn’t a brick oven just be a short and wide rectangular prism?” More like a conventional oven. Why is the dome shape thought to be needed.

Thank you.

In: Physics

The shape of an object greatly determines how it retains heat. Specifically, you want to look at the surface-area to volume ratio: an object with a high surface-area to volume ratio loses heat more quickly than one with a low surface-area to volume ratio.

It turns out that structure will the lowest possible surface-area to volume ratio is a dome. So, that’s the shape you want your oven to be.

The bricks are designed to absorb heat they can then emit back into the cavity.
The dome is centred on the middle of the oven (I presume) where the pizza would be. This means that heat either reflected or emitted from the bricks would always generally point to that spot.