Welcome to PhysLink.com - Your physics and astronomy online portal. Stay a while! Check out our extensive library of educational and reference materials. Also, check out our fun section!
Why does firewood crackle when it is thrown in a fire?
Asked by: Susannah
If you have ever "distilled wood", you already know the answer to this question.
Solids and liquids do not burn. First they vaporize to a gas, then the gas burns. When wood is burned, the wood itself vaporizes. Much of this vapor is gaseous wood alcohol and water/steam. If too much vapor is trapped inside the wood, it will exert pressure and cause the wood to pop which causes the crackle.
"Distilling Wood" can be done by heating wood chips in a test tube and condensing the effluent vapor. This produces water, wood alcohol and activated charcoal.
Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
3D Magnetic Field Tube
Space Wonder Gyroscope
Revolving Multi-Color Fiberoptic Light
Deluxe Water Rocket Set
Wood Grain Newtons Cradle
Brush Robot 4M Kit
12 inch Galileo Thermometer