The creation of Fire
The creation of fire is arguably one of mankind’s most important discoveries, and allowed early man to have a greater degree of control over their surroundings, giving them access to a source of heat and light with the added benefits of protection and the ability to cook food. Ultimately this discovery has had many applications throughout our society from powering steam engines to power plants to the first internal combustion engine, lighting streets and heating homes.
What a Fire Requires to Light?
The creation of fire itself requires the presence of the three elements stated in the “fire triangle”, which is itself a simplified explanation of these requirements, which are fuel, oxygen and heat. The fuel can be any material capable of oxidation, oxygen or another oxidising agent complete the raw materials needed for the process and heat is essentially a catalyst and by-product of the resultant reaction. If any one of these three elements are removed then the fire will go out.
This knowledge is especially important when it comes to fighting fires quickly and effectively because fires spread fast and their ability to do so should never be underestimated. Further heat will be generated providing there is oxygen and a fuel source nearby. This heat may then be able to start further fires nearby.
How to Make a Fire
The flame of a fire is a result of the exothermic reaction going on on the surface of the fuel source, which excites photons which are released and subsequently detected by our eyes. The flame itself has no mass but may contain particles of incompletely combusted material which are moved around by the convection currents of raidly rising heated air.
What Flame Colours Mean?
The color of the flame produced depends on the type material being burnt which in turn determines the level of energy being released and therefore level of excitation of the photons. The energy level of the photon causes it to produce different colors of the spectrum. The color of the flame also gives an indication of the temperature of the fire with lower energy levels producing colors toward the red end of the light spectrum while higher energy levels produce colors toward the blue end of the spectrum. The hottest flames are white. The color of the flame may also be affected by chemical elements within the flame such as barium which produces a green flame