Course: The Science of a Burning Candle
In this course, the student reads and performs experiments following a very interesting, friendly, and informal treatise called The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday (a great English scientific observer). This lecture to young people concerns something which at first thought might seem insignifcant or uninteresting, but what turns out to be anything but: the humble wax candle. The finale of the course is the unexpected but accurate comparison of the candle's combustion with that of food being digested by the human body.
A great observer, Faraday makes science approachable while he carefully investigates those basic questions we all should ask ourselves, but seem to be too busy or not observant enough to do so. Such questions include: How does a candle flame actually work? How does the wax reach the flame? Where does the wax go - what does it become? What are oxygen and hydrogen?
Course Length (in weeks):