Peroxide Bubbles

This time we are going to talk about a very important substance, oxygen. Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe, coming after hydrogen and helium. About 20% of the air around you is made up of oxygen, and it is vitally important to life on Earth. It is also important for combustion, and that is what we will explore today.

Why Wet Things Don't Burn

Sometimes things are so common that we never stop to really think about them. We all know from experience that a piece of paper that is soaked in water does not burn easily. Wet wood does not work well in a campfire. What is it about water that keeps things from burning? Think about it first, and then watch the video.


wood and ashes
The wood in this pile will be reduced to this much ash when it is burned. What happens to the rest of the mass from the wood?


When I was growing up, lighters made a spark by rubbing a metal wheel across a flint (which was not really made out of flint.) Lighters like this one ignite the flame in a different way. How is the gas ignited?