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Heat, fire, pressure - things i don't understand

by fudoki
Tags: heat, pressure, things
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Jan2-09, 06:05 PM
P: 1
Hi all,

Apologies if this is in the wrong location, i'm new (and using that as an excuse :) )

i am currently working on a fantasy novel and having some issues that my days old knowledge of thermodynamics, and what-not, is nowhere near capable of managing.

So, to dive straight in; if we were to assume that you had access to a large amount of energy (potential or otherwise) and chose to use said energy by transferring it to a point in the air in front of you to generate a high temperature (thousands of degress) would a flame appear? Or, is a flame only generated when a secondary material is introduced, such as wood, carbon etc?

if you were to heat to a small part of the air in front of you quickly and highly enough would you create a shockwave which would 'push' things?

any help, knowledge or nudges in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.
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Jan2-09, 06:43 PM
Sci Advisor
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P: 8,953
You wouldn't create a flame - a flame needs fuel+oxygen+heat.
You could create a plasma if you heated it enough - like a spherical glowing spark
Enough heating can create a force, lightning creates a supersonic shock by heating air - that's the thunder you hear.
Jan2-09, 06:46 PM
montoyas7940's Avatar
P: 274
If some of the nitrogen were oxidized would there be a visible flame?

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