TITLE

The last word

PUB. DATE
September 2003
SOURCE
New Scientist;9/13/2003, Vol. 179 Issue 2412, p65
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Candles are made out of paraffin wax, which is a mixture of hydrocarbons and is solid at room temperature. For a flame to form you need three things, fuel, oxygen and an ignition source. Fire will not occur in an environment of 100% methane, but a mixture of one part methane to one part oxygen will burn quite readily. When a candle is burning, it is not the solid wax that is burning, but the wax that is vaporizing from the heat of the flame. These vapors are burnt off in the flame, so more heat is generated and more wax is vaporized. If the oxygen and the temperature of the ignition source are at required levels, the candle will reignite, and because there is a higher concentration of wax vapor than in a normal burning candle, it will cause the "pop" you hear.
ACCESSION #
10892871

 

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