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The Kid Should See This

What actually IS fire?

Watch more with these video collections:

What is fire? Is it a solid, a liquid, a gas? What’s the chemistry and physics of a flame, and what can we learn from observing how it behaves?

Safety reminder: Do not try this at home. Leave it to the pros, like professional pyrotechnician and maker Fran Scott.

Don't try this at home
In this BBC Earth Kids video, Scott explores the internal workings of fire with a series of luminous experiments, including reviews of candle combustion, oxygen’s role in flame ignition, heat generation without a flame, and more.

Bonus: Oxygen-enriched cotton wool demonstrations.

Fran Scott reacts to a burst of flames

“You need at least some oxygen; the more oxygen you have then that normally leads to a more violent flame…

“As long as you’ve got enough fuel and oxygen then the chemical reaction of those two reacting together can produce enough heat to keep the fire going and going and going, so much so that some fires have been burning for thousands of years.”

The color of flames can also be affected by temperature and the elements involved. Scott shares a few of those, too.

a green barium fire
Watching fire experiments is a great conversation starter about fire prevention and safety tips. The National Park Service also shares a series of Fire Basics for Kids articles.

And again, do not try these experiments at home. If you do want to get hands-on, try this Candle Chemistry video from The Royal Institution.

Then enjoy these videos for more about fire:
What is fire? Is it a solid, a liquid, or a gas?
• What’s the chemistry and physics of a flame?
Match burning in slow-motion
• Kawah Ijen volcano & The Mystery of the Blue Flames
• How is black fire made?
• Flame Rainbow, a colorful chemistry demonstration by Chem Talk

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