The Flame Challenge

jophysx Posted By jophysx, Jan 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

  1. jophysx

    jophysx
    Burning Hunk

    Apr 12, 2011
    158
    33
    Loc:
    Portland, OR
    I recently heard Alan Alda on the radio talking about "The Flame Challenge", which is a challenge to the scientific community to explain "What is a Flame?" at a level that an 11 yr old could understand. This was done as part of Alan Alda's work with the StonyBrook University Center for Communicating Science. The question came from Alda's own unsatisfied curiousity as a child.

    Many scientists submitted answers in various formats and at various depths. The winning submission was a video. I think it is the best explanation of what a flame is that I have ever seen, and I thought hearth.com folks might be interested to know what it is they are staring at in their wood stove from a physicist's point of view.

    Here is the link to the video.
    And here is the link to "The Flame Challenge" web site.

    The "Flame Challenge" question for 2013 is "What is time?" Try explaining that to an 11yr old!

    -Jim
     
  2. MnDave

    MnDave
    Guest

    Thanks Jim. Excellent video. I learned a few things.

    I will be very interested to hear the explanation of what time is.

    MnDave
     
  3. HotCoals

    HotCoals
    Minister of Fire

    Oct 27, 2010
    3,429
    299
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    pretty cool..or should I say hot..lol.
     
  4. jophysx

    jophysx
    Burning Hunk

    Apr 12, 2011
    158
    33
    Loc:
    Portland, OR
    The video explains very nicely why blue flame without much yellow is a good indication that you are burning clean.
     
  5. MnDave

    MnDave
    Guest

    That is exactly one of the points I took away from the video. I see the blue flame and I think of clean natural gas. I notice that soft wood burns with more orange and yellow than hardwood.

    MnDave
     

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