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Extinguish a candle by removing the heat with aluminium foil

Suitable For

Grades 3 & 4



Time Required

 <12 Hours



What’s it about?

Any fire needs fuel to keep on burning. As soon as the fuel is removed, the fire will be extinguished. Similarly, for a candle flame to stay lit, wax has to melt continuously and travel up the wick. When the flame’s heat is removed and the wax is no longer melting, the flame will run out of fuel to burn, and be extinguished as you will see in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Suet, Carbon dioxide, Oxygen

What will I need?


How does it work?

The flame’s heat causes the candle wax to melt and be broken up into simpler products. This produces more heat, allowing the reaction to continue. In this science experiment the aluminium foil absorbs and reflects the heat of the flame. This causes heat to be pulled from the flame, and thus the heat needed to continue the chemical reaction was taken away, so the reaction stopped and the flame is extinguished.

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