Quantitative observations of a candle

In this activity, students observe a candle from a chemist's point of view. From these observations and some simple chemical tests, they will try to determine what must be present in order for a candle to burn and what the products of combustion are.

Your Account. Summary In this activity, students observe a candle from a chemist's point of view.

Candle Science

Carefully observe and describe the characteristics of a candle flame. Determine what part of the candle is burning. Infer the products of the combustion. This is a general chemistry lab which I use at the beginning of the semester to review the concept of chemical and physical change. Students are asked to determine what the products of the reaction are by making observation of simple chemical tests.

The lab requires about 2 class periods or 1 block to complete. It does not require any special lab equipment and could be easily adapted to physical science. Observation of a Candle You have seen a candles burn on many occasions, but you have probably never considered the burning of a candle from a chemist's point of view. In this lab, you will try to determine what is necessary for a candle for a candle to burn, and what products are formed when the candle burns.

Objectives: 1. Determine what is necessary for a candle to burn. Determine the products of the combustion of a candle. Materials: pair of students Large wax candles 2 Matches 1 book Shallow plastic or metal 1 10 ml of phenol red solution 25 ml ml beaker 1 ml Erlenmeyer flasks 1 Rubber stopper to fit the flask 1 Wire gauze square 1 Tongs 1 Safety: Keep all flammable materials away from matches and burning candles. Wear safety goggles.

Procedure: 1. Light a candle and let drops of wax fall in to the center of the pan. Press the candle into the melted wax and hold it upright until the wax solidifies 2. Light the candle.

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Carefully observe the flame. List at least 8 observations of the flame. Look at the colors and the shape of the flame. Where does the burning take place? What is burning? When a chemical change takes place, a different substance is formed. When a physical change takes place, the substance changes shape or phase, but the substance remains the same.

Classify each of the following as a chemical C or physical P change. Light a second candle and hold the flame cm from the flame of the first candle. Gently blow out the first candle flame and then move the other flame in to the smoke from the first flame. Do you have to touch the wick in order to get the candle to relight?

Write your observations below. What does this tell you about the part of the candle that is burning?In fact, scientists have been fascinated by candles for hundreds of years.

quantitative observations of a candle

InMichael Faraday gave his now-famous lecture series on the Chemical History of a Candle, demonstrating dozens of scientific principles through his careful observations of a burning candle. In the late s, NASA took candle research to new heights, conducting space shuttle experiments to learn about the behavior of candle flames in microgravity.

Scientists in universities and research laboratories around the world continue to conduct experiments with candles to learn more about candle flames, emissions and combustion. And, of course, thousands of students every year investigate the principles of heat, light and combustion through school science projects involving candles.

All waxes are essentially hydrocarbons, which means they are largely composed of hydrogen H and carbon C atoms. When you light a candle, the heat of the flame melts the wax near the wick. This liquid wax is then drawn up the wick by capillary action. The heat of the flame vaporizes the liquid wax turns it into a hot gasand starts to break down the hydrocarbons into molecules of hydrogen and carbon.

These vaporized molecules are drawn up into the flame, where they react with oxygen from the air to create heat, light, water vapor H 2 O and carbon dioxide CO 2. Enough heat is created to radiate back and melt more wax to keep the combustion process going until the fuel is used up or the heat is eliminated. It takes a few minutes when you first light a candle for this combustion process to stabilize.

The flame may flicker or smoke a bit at first, but once the process is stabilized, the flame will burn cleanly and steadily in a quiet teardrop shape, giving off carbon dioxide and water vapor. A quietly burning candle flame is a very efficient combustion machine. But if the flame gets too little or too much air or fuel, it can flicker or flare and unburned carbon particles soot will escape from the flame before they can fully combust.

The wisp of smoke you sometimes see when a candle flickers is actually caused by unburned soot particles that have escaped from the flame due to incomplete combustion. Click Here for Candle Research Studies. Above that is a small dark orange-brown section, and above that is the large yellow region that we associate with candle flames.

The oxygen-rich blue zone is where the hydrocarbon molecules vaporize and start to break apart into hydrogen and carbon atoms. The hydrogen is the first to separate here and reacts with the oxygen to form water vapor. Some of the carbon burns here to form carbon dioxide. This is where the various forms of carbon continue to break down and small, hardened carbon particles start to form. As they rise, along with the water vapor and carbon dioxide created in the blue zone, they are heated to approximately degrees Centigrade.

At the bottom of the yellow zone, the formation of the carbon soot particles increases. As they rise, they continue to heat until they ignite to incandescence and emit the full spectrum of visible light. Because the yellow portion of the spectrum is the most dominant when the carbon ignites, the human eye perceives the flame as yellowish.I'm looking for it myself :.

Is the smoke after burning the same as the candle before?

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Then it is a chemical change. The summary is that "There are more than fifty individual characteristics that can be identified, solely by observation, of a burning candle. It is a chemical. Chemical because you are burning it and it can't be easily changed back to the same candle before it was burnt. A burning candle requires Oxygen to continue burning. The jar over the candle restricts the supply of oxygen and therefore the candle can not continue burning and will go out.

If you put your hand in or near a burning candle, it is hot, meaning a burning candle is a source of heat.

Candle wax is the fuel a candle uses to keep burning. So, I guess the effect of the wax is the candle keeps burning. I think a burning and unattending candle is not safe because little kids can burn on the candle.

Burning candle is a chemical change because the wick of the candle is burnt off into the air. Melting of candle is a physical change. Burning of candle is a chemical change. Burning a candle is the process in which the wick is burnt. The wax is there to make the wick burn slower in order to let the candle burn for longer. Melting wax is part of the process but not burning the candle itself.

Asked By Curt Eichmann. Asked By Leland Grant. Asked By Veronica Wilkinson.

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Asked By Daija Kreiger. What are the Qualitative observation before and during burning of a candle?

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All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Ask Login. Science Experiments. Asked by Wiki User. Top Answer.In this investigation, students are challenged to make careful observations about a burning candle to discover the chemical and physical changes that make it work.

Students will desribe their observations about a burning candle to discover the chemical and physical changes that make it work. Tea candles can be purchased in large quantities, as can tapered candles from hardware stores. Candles of different colors, sizes, and shapes can enrich the observations made by the class. We are all familiar with burning candles, but how much have we really seen while looking at one? In this exercise you will be challenged to observe a burning candle through the lens of chemistry.

You may be surprised by how much is really happening in what seems like a familiar process! First we will try to observe details beyond our usual way of looking at a candle, and then we will look for evidence of the physical or chemical nature of any changes that are taking place.

Take care in recording your observations—try to imagine that you have never seen a burning candle before!

quantitative observations of a candle

Obtain a tea light candle, matches, and any measuring equipment available to you. Before lighting the candle, make three qualitative observations and three quantitative observations of the candle. Qualitative observations describe qualities or characteristics, quantitative observations involve quantities, or measurements.

You may choose among many properties to observe: color, texture, mass, physical dimensions, density, aroma… or any others you can think of.

Use as many of your physical senses as possible, and be sure to include units for any of your quantitative observations. Use a match to carefully light the candle. Repeat the process of making qualitative and quantitative observations of the burning candle, this time making six of each kind of observation. Some of your observations may relate to properties you have already recorded, that may be changing now that the candle is burning.

quantitative observations of a candle

Once again use all your senses to make qualitative observations. Ask yourself what you can measure for the quantitative observations.

quantitative observations of a candle

For your observations and measurements, consider not only the physical candle, but also consider its influence on the air in the space surrounding it. Now sketch a detailed drawing of the burning candle, an enlargement of the portion about a centimeter from the top of the candle to the topmost tip of the flame:.

Now distinguish as many different aspects of the flame itself and label them in the drawing. When you have completed recording your observations and drawings, prepare to blow out the candle, and be ready to make further observations as you do this! Blow out the candle and record two qualitative and two quantitative observations of the candle immediately after it is extinguished:. In a phase change from solid to liquid or from liquid to gas the particles of a substance in this case the molecules of wax will change the arrangement they have with each other.

As a solid they will be closely packed together and unable to move freely. In the liquid they will be able to flow around each other but will still be close together, and as a gas they will fly freely apart but they will still be wax molecules and will have the same structure they had as molecules in the solid and the liquid phases:.

In the boxes below, use small, single shapes to represent entire wax molecules, and sketch their arrangement in the three physical phases:. Based on your observations of the burning candle, did you find evidence for the change from the solid wax phase to the liquid wax phase? Interestingly, a candle releases energy through the same kind of reaction that your body uses to obtain energy.

Hold your breath for a moment. What is your body craving? This is the same substance the candle needs to burn in a chemical change that we call combustion. We are not aware of oxygen in the air because it is an odorless and colorless gas, and at the temperature of a burning candle, both the CO2 and the H2O are also gases that are invisible to us. We can see evidence of chemical change, however, if we restrict the amount of oxygen that is allowed to react with the wax.

Relight the candle and lower the bottom of a small beaker or a clear watch glass into the flame so that the flame touches the surface of the glass. Hold it there for a moment where it restricts some of the air flow to the flame and then remove it. Finally, let us consider the physical phase of the wax as it reacts with the oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water. Prepare to observe carefully!The candle is cylindrical in shape and has a diameter of 20 mm.

The length of the candle was initially about 18 cm and changed slowly during observation, decreasing about 4 mm in twenty minutes. The candle is made of a translucent, white solid which has a slight odor and no taste. It is soft enough to be scratched with the fingernail. There is a wick which extends from top to bottom of the candle along its central axis and protrudes about 10 mm above the top of the candle. The wick is made of three strands of string braided together.

The candle is lit by holding a source of flame close to the wick for a few seconds. Thereafter, the source of flame can be re-moved and the flame sustains itself at the wick. The burning candle makes no sound. While burning, the body of the candle remains cool to the touch except near the top.

Within about 5 mm from the top of the candle it is warm, but not hot, and sufficiently soft to mold easily. The flame flickers in response to air currents and tends to be-come quite smoky while flickering.

In the absence of air currents, the flame is in the form shown in the drawing, although it retains some movement at all times. The flame begins about 4 mm above the top of the candle, and at its base the flame has a blue tint. Immediately around the wick in a region about 5 mm wide and extending about 8 mm above the top of the wick the flame is dark. This dark region is roughly conical in shape. Around this zone and extending about 5 mm above the dark zone is a region which emits yellow light, bright but not blinding.

The flame has rather sharply defined sides, but a ragged top. The wick is white where it emerges from the candle, but from the base of the flame to the end of the wick, it is black, appearing burnt except for the last 2 mm where it glows red. The wick curls over about 4 mm from its end.

As the candle becomes shorter, the wick shortens too, so as to extend roughly a constant length above the top of the candle. Heat is emitted by the flame, enough so that it becomes uncomfortable in a few seconds to hold ones finger a few millimeters to the side of the flame or a few centimeters above the flame.

The top of a quietly burning candle becomes wet with a color-less liquid and becomes bowl-shaped. If the flame is blown, one side of this bowl-shaped top may become liquid, and the liquid trapped in the bowl may drain down the candle's side.

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As it courses down, the colorless liquid cools, becomes translucent, and gradually solidifies from the outside, attaching itself to the candle. In the absence of a draft, the candle may burn for hours with-out such dripping.

Under these conditions, a stable pool of clear liquid remains in the bowl-shaped top of the candle. The liquid rises slightly around the wick, wetting the base of the wick as high as the base of the flame.Burn, Baby, Burn: Comparing the burning speed of scented and unscented candles This experiment was performed to compare how quickly a scented and an unscented candle will burn.

The tests were done by comparing the length that the candles will burn in 30 minutes - using unscented, rose scented and apple scented candles. Hypothesis: Unscented candles burn more quickly than scented candles.

Overview: Candles Candles are a convenient way of providing light and heat when no electricity is available. The goals of this experiment are to practice in the art of observation, the art of questioning, and the development of a better understanding of this process. Hypothesis: through this experiment, we will learn how candle is working.

Candle Observation. Heat the bottom of the candle and secure it to a cardboard square on your lab counter. Light the candle and allow it to burn for several minutes. Note any changes. Briefly describe the burning candle. Blow out the flame and immediately place a lighted match in. Candles are made from different types of waxes and oils. It is also used substantially in fast-food. Burning is a chemical change for new substances are created that cannot changed back are formed.

Oxygen is needed for combustion or also called rapid oxidation. When oxygen is added, it causes a fire to burn hotter and faster. In this lab both wood and steel wool were burned in pure oxygen and air. Wood is mixture of many substances but for this lab we will focus on the cellulose aspect for the.

The Graphing and Estimating lab involves just that. The lab is designed to collect data from several tests involving burn time of a candle. Oxygen, O2, is a kind of gas. A lot of the air we breathe as human beings is oxygen. Which is good since we need oxygen to stay alive. Oxygen is also a primary element in fire. Fire is a chemical process. Three elements are needed for this.

Present, not many people use candles for their main light source.Qualitative observations are those that cannot be measured mathematically or assigned a value. For example, "the sky is blue," is a qualitative observation, it has no mathematical value associated with it. Quantitative observations are those that have a mathematical value. For example, "this desk is 1 meter long" is a quantitative observation.

Therefore, noting that something is bubbling is an example of a qualitative observation. There are basically two kinds of observations that scientists make, which are described as qualitative and quantitative. A qualitative observation gives you a general description. For example, a particular substance might be observed to be a liquid, blue in color, in a bottle. Quantitative observation involves measurement.

For the same substance you might discover that it weighs 1.

Qualitative and Quantitative Observations

Qualitative observations don't involve numbers, and quantitative observations do. There are two types of observation. There is what is referred to as the qualitative observation and what is referred to as quantitative observation. Qualitative observations do not deal with numbers, but rather details of an experiment per se.

The Burning Of A Candle

An example would be how a precipitate looks that was formed from a reaction. Quantitative observations deal with numbers; an example would be the amount of a substance in grams formed from a completed reaction. Quantitative measurements are those which involve the collection of numbers. It is the opposite of qualitative data which are observations.

For example, if you were interested in looking at height. Quantitative measurements would be taking an accurate measurement of everyone. Qualitative data would be looking at the person and putting them into a category of 'tall,' 'medium,' 'short. Quantitative means that it is concerned with how much. Qualitative means that it is only concerned with the kind. And example of quantitative would be the number of trees in a park, and an example of qualitative would be whether you have blue eyes or brown eyes.

Example: When you weigh something, you get a measurement which indicates the quantity, rather than quality. You can say that a woman weighs 60 kilos, that is a quantitative observation.

Saying that she is beautiful is a qualitative observation, "she has the quality of beauty. To a colour blind person, a rose may be grey, but put it on a scale and it weighs the same for him as it does for a person with normal colour perception. They are variables that can take quantitative - as opposed to qualitative values.


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