Whoa! Donít freak out on us. Fire is perfectly explainable by modern science. It is nothing more than the product of oxygen with a combustible material that, when heated produces a glowing, gaseous chemical reaction. Dictionaries have long been short on giving a good definition for fire, which adds to the confusion of what it actually is. Many people believe it to be a form of pure energy, but it is not. A fire cannot exist without matter.
Fire is considered one of the great forces of nature. In times long ago, it was considered one of the four essential elements, along with earth, air and water. Today, we know that fire is the visible result of a chemical reaction in progress. This chemical reaction requires a combination of three components: oxygen, fuel and heat.
Any type of matter can be a fuel: liquid, gas or solid. However, each type of matter has a different ignition temperature. For instance, paper burns at a much lower temperature than steel, so you canít light a knife on fire with a match.
When a fuel and oxygen are available, a fire will result when heat is great enough to reach the ignition point. Once that is reach, the heat from the fire is enough to keep the reaction going without introducing another outside source of heat. The molecules of the fuel are loosened and detach from one another so that solid and liquid fuels become a gas in the flame.
Fire is the transformation of the fuel and oxygen into other forms of matter plus energy through a chemical reaction. The energy given off by the chemical reaction is in the form of heat and light, which produces the flame. When fuel is pure enough, a fire results in complete combustion, This produces either a blue or transparent flame along with invisible carbon dioxide.
When oxygen is insufficient or a fuel has parts that burn at different temperatures, the result is incomplete combustion. This type of combustion produces yellow, orange or red flames plus smoke and gaseous emissions of compounds that didnít burn.
On Earth, in a natural environment, gravity and shifting winds make flames twist and dance. This is because at the heart of the fire is matter, and matter is affected by both these forces. In space, outside the effects of air pressure and gravity, fire burns in an orb.
Posted 3674 day ago