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Explanation of Fire


evan

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Alright, this blog is for all you pyros out there. I couldn't help but want to delve a little deeper into the nature of fire, and what I found is pretty interesting. In actuality, fire is simply a gas thats hot enough to incandesce, which means give off blackbody radiation whos color is determined by the temperature. Very hot fires can on occasion even reach the plasma phase, where they become partially ionized. However, the average fire burns at about 1000F, which produces the characteristic red-orange flame that we all recognize. When burning objects, one can notice that they burn at different rates or perhaps colors. This is because the electron structure of some materials and compounds absorb the energy, exciting the electrons to a higher energy level and emitting different photons. A perfect example of this is sodium, which gives off a distinctive yellow color. In addition the surface area must be considered. For example, paper burns much faster than wood for this reason, for surface area gives the substance ready access to oxygen. Hydrocarbons are another thing that burns incredibly well, however this is for a much different reason. They give off more energy than cellulose, which produces the normal 1000F temperature, actually because they lack oxygen, so when supplied with it the reaction is much more drastic.

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