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Pyrolysis, Chemiluminescence, Oxidation and Incandescence

Today we learned about fire because we wanted to know why fire was hot.

We started by getting some small birthday cake candles, matches, a baking tin, a jar and some water.

Our experiment kit.

Our experiment kit.

We stuck the candles in a baking tin with wax.

Candles in a baking tin.

Candles in a baking tin.

Then we lit them with a large candle. We had to be very careful.

Lighting the candles.

Lighting the candles.

Once they were lit we tried some different ways of putting them out. We started with some water but daddy forgot to take a picture of that. Water cools the flame down. Fire needs heat to keep going.

Next we put a jar over a candle.

Putting a jar over a candle.

Putting a jar over a candle.

The candle went out.

Candle in a jar going out.

Candle in a jar going out.

It goes out because fire needs air (actually oxygen) to keep going.

Next we let the candles burn all the way down to the bottom.

Candles burning right down.

Candles burning right down.

These candles went out because they ran out of fuel. The wax and wick are fuel and fire needs fuel to keep going.

All of this tells us what fire needs to burn but it doesn’t tell us why fire is hot. That’s very complicated so we started by looking at the different parts of the flame: blue, yellow, orange and red.

A flame.

A flame.

Then we watched a film about flames. It has some very big words in it but there’s a song about them that we all sang.

  • Grandma and Grandad

    Hot stuff!!!