Friday, August 22, 2014

#235 / Extinguishing A Candle

Pictured is an experiment with heat. I found this illustration online, as part of the materials used by Mr. Skubis, a chemistry teacher at the  Harry S. Truman High School, an "empowerment school" located in the Bronx, in New York City. It shows how it is possible to extinguish a candle flame with a copper coil. 

As the University of York says: "To put out a fire you either need to remove the fuel, oxygen or heat." The coil captures the heat, and the flame goes out. The somewhat amazing nature of this experiment has had people asking why. Here's is the "best response" provided to a question about the experiment, as found in the Yahoo Answers website:

The copper wire absorbed most of the heat from the flame. Heat, oxygen are required for fire. When copper wire is removed, the candle continues to burn and the fire is re-lighted.

I have done the experiment myself, in my much younger days. It is particularly satisfying. 

Nowadays, I think of this as a potentially helpful metaphor for how to defuse situations of violence and conflict, and maybe to reengineer our entire society.

Worth thinking about that. 

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1 comment:

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