Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Fire Burnin' on the Dancefloor



blog-0264396001389840814.pngIt's common knowledge that a blue flame is hotter than a red/orange frame. While I'm not entirely sure that is true, having never tested the fact with my own appendages, many reliable sources seem to say it's true. But why, really, is a blue flame hotter? The answer lies with a bit of science on the nature of "light".

Light with higher frequencies (towards the blue/violet end of the spectrum) contains more energy than light towards the other end of the spectrum, the red/orange end (light in this case refers to all electromagnetic radiation - from gamma to radio waves). And when objects are heated, they radiate energy in the form of light. As you can see in the attached image, this pattern of radiation follows a predictable function dependent upon temperature and wavelength. While certain materials emit certain wavelengths better than others, the general trend is that, the hotter the object the is, the more power it will output at higher and higher frequencies. In other words, a blue flame is emitting more energy at higher frequencies because it is hotter. Theoretically, purple flames would be even hotter, and would most certainly look cooler.

The big lesson is that there are plenty of ways to quench your curiosity about flammable objects with your eyes, and not your various limbs. Although I guess you can always try.


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

  • Create New...