M4 Magical Candle

Background

In your studies of chemical reactions and fuels, you would have been introduced to combustion reaction. Fuels are combusted to generate energy. The energy generated may be heat or light or mechanical or some combination of the three. A candle is one example of a fuel which when lit provides light in homes. Combustion of a fuel requires another substance in addition to the fuel.

Resources:
The resources listed below (PowerPoint Slides) is to be found on MYP Chemistry Fuels and Energy page.

The Discrepant Event

The embedded video below is of the Magical Candle demonstration performed at one of the international schools I taught at. It consists of a candle in a dissection tray with a little bit of water. The candle is lit and a conical flask is inverted over the candle. Watch the video for the rest.

As you may have noticed, two things happen. The water level inside the conical flask rises and the candle goes out. The question is, why?

Concepts involved

  • combustion, fuel, heat, oxygen, pressure.

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