The Three-Part Candle Flame
You will need: Candle, piece of cardboard.
Light a candle and when the flame is burning steadily study it carefully. It consists of three parts. In the center is a bluish area which contains the unburned gases from the candle wax. Surrounding this center area is the brightest part of the flame. This is composed of burning particles of carbon which give most of the light from the flame. Outside these two parts of the flame is a fainter area where the burning of the gases is completed.
With care, you can produce proof of these three parts of a candle flame. Cut a piece of white cardboard and hold it steadily in a candle flame for 3 or 4 seconds (but not long enough for the card to catch on fire). At the end of this time, lift the card quickly away from the flame.
The photograph on the right shows you the type of mark which the flame will leave on the card if the experiment is performed carefully. The inside area of the flame consisting of the unburned gases will leave the card unmarked. The burning particles of carbon will leave a deposit of soot. And the outer area of the flame will leave a fine scorch mark.
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