Why Is Fire So Hot?


5 Answers

Albert Renshaw Profile
Albert Renshaw answered
Fire is caused by the chemical reaction of combustion. Where a hydrocarbon (found in parts of wood) reacts with Oxygen (found in the air) To produce water, carbon dioxide, and extreme amount of energy.

HnCm + O2 -∆-> H2O + CO2 + e-
(whereas n and m are integers)

The water is usually evaporated into smoke or sent back into the atmosphere because of the heat, and the CO2 is a gas so it just floats away.

The heat is caused by the electrons given off, they create a bunch of energy that has a wave particle nature duality.

The energy is turned into waves that give of light (the flames), You can change the color of the flame by messing with properties of the reaction such as temperature, speed of combustion, adding another reactant, adding a catalyst, changing then wavelength, etc.

When these waves of energy hit your eye your nerves take them in and produce the image of a flame in your brain so that you can see the fire.

When these wave of energy hit your skin your nerves take them and and your brain detects a change in temperature.

Because of the wave,particle duality nature the waves also turn into particles that are moving really fast do to the energy, heat by definition is really the speed at which particles move, and since these particles are moving really fast they are really hot, so when your skin feels them your skin actually starts vibrating really fast which gives off heat, aka energy.

To much of this energy can burn you, so don't get close to the flames. When it gets to the point where you can't see the flame anymore that is because most of the waves are being absorbed by different air molecules in the atmosphere (such as nitrogen) and they are being heated, you can still burn yourself off of this, but you can't see it.

I hope this makes since, I've taken 2 years of chemistry so I tried to use laymen's terms but I think it is the kind of think where you need to study chemical reactions to really grasp the concept.

Hope I helped!
Shayne Hutcheson Profile
Fire gets its heat from the fact that when fuel and oxygen molecules are combusted, they turn into water and carbon dioxide molecules. While this is going on, chemical bonds are broken and new ones are formed. Breaking the chemical bonds and and forming the new stronger bonds creates energy. That extra energy is what creates the heat.

If you would like more information you can take a look here.
Meta Forrest Profile
Meta Forrest answered
Because it gives off heat . 
John Profile
John answered
A,B,C's of fire- fire triangle - oxygen+heat+fuel.without one you can't have the
Daniel Tagliento Profile
It's been the rage for ages...not since the cave guy got it hot for late night dining & dancing...has the Club Thing been so good!

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